Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

An overly optimistic plan?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

#NYPD Fail

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Soaring iPhone sales in China boost Apple earnings

Read more

  • Russia orders military drills as Ukraine moves on separatists

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Palestinian unity deal stirs anger in Israel

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

Middle east

Scores killed in new clashes between troops and army defectors

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-17

At least 41 people were killed in Syria Monday, including 27 in the volatile city of Homs, where soldiers clashed with army defectors. In Hama, an epicentre of anti-government protests, troops shot dead three civilians.

AFP - The unrest in Syria edged closer to an all-out armed conflict on Monday as 41 people were killed, including 11 soldiers reportedly in clashes with army defectors, as the UN chief urged an immediate end to the bloodletting.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 27 people, most of them civilians but some of them police, were killed in the flashpoint city of Homs as President Bashar al-Assad's regime pressed its brutal crackdown on dissent.

Three other civilians, including a 13-year-old boy, were also shot dead in other parts of the country, the Britain-based Observatory said.

"Gunmen suspected of being army defectors blew up a bomb by remote control as an army vehicle passed by Ehssem in the countryside of the (northwestern province of Idlib), killing an officer and three soldiers, and wounding others," the Observatory's Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP in Nicosia.

The Britain-based watchdog said that another seven soldiers were killed in clashes with gunmen suspected too of being army defectors in the flashpoint central province of Homs.

Analysts have warned that the longer the repression continues, the more chance there is of opposition groups taking up arms, while UN human rights chief Navi Pillay warned at the weekend that Syria risked "a full-blown civil war."

Pillay said that more than 3,000 people, including 187 children, have been killed in the crackdown on anti-regime protests.

Earlier this month, a top army defector now living across the border in Turkey called for military aid to help his armed opposition group topple the Damascus regime.

Colonel Riad al-Assad, who defected in July, appealed for weapons for the "Syrian Free Army" he has set up.

"If the international community helps us, then we can do it, but we are sure the struggle will be more difficult without arms," he said in the interview published by the English-language Hurriyet Daily News.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon meanwhile urged Assad to immediately stop the killings of civilians, a day after the Arab League called for "national dialogue" to end the violence.

"There are continuous killings of civilian people. These killings must stop immediately," Ban said in Bern.

"I told Assad: 'Stop before it is too late'," he said.

"It is unacceptable that 3,000 people have been killed. The UN is urging him again to take urgent action."

Ban also called on Assad to accept an international commission of inquiry into rights violations ordered by the UN Human Rights Council in April. Damascus has blocked investigators from entering the country.

The Observatory reported that scores of soldiers were also wounded in confrontations Monday with suspected army defectors, including at least 17 in Idlib province.

The watchdog said 27 people died Monday, including policemen, as the army and security forces carried out raids in Homs, which has been one of the centres of the unprecedented protests against Assad's 11-year rule that have swept the country since mid-March.

"Twenty-seven people, some civilians and others police officers, were killed in Homs on Monday during operations by the army and the security services in several neighbourhoods of the city," the Observatory said.

Troops shot dead three other civilians -- one in Idlib province in the northwest and two in Hama, including a 13-year-old boy in Hama, a protest centre north of Homs, the watchdog added.

The Local Coordination Committees, an activist network spurring protests, meanwhile issued a statement accusing security forces of intensifying their crackdown on doctors who treat wounded demonstrators.

"Security forces recently intensified their campaign against doctors, hospitals and private clinics suspected of treating people wounded in pro-freedom rallies" without notifying security services, the LCC said.

Doctors are required to immediately notify security services of the arrival of a wounded person, regardless of the severity of his injuries, which invariably leads to the patient's arrest, it said.

The Violations Documenting Centre, a partner of the activist network, said 250 doctors and pharmacists have been arrested since mid-March, 25 of them in the past few weeks.

The violence in Syria prompted Arab foreign ministers to hold an emergency meeting on Sunday at Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

Ministers agreed to renew contact with the Syrian government and opposition groups to spur the launch of a national dialogue within 15 days.

Assad's regime blames "armed gangs" for the violence that has wracked Syria for the past seven months, but activists say most of the deaths are caused by security forces putting down non-violent protests.

 

Date created : 2011-10-17

  • SYRIA

    Five soldiers killed in clashes with defectors, activists say

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Arab League stops short of suspending Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Assad tasks committee with preparing new constitution

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)