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Middle east

Assad's militiamen 'ambushed and killed' in Aleppo

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-22

The bloodshed continued in Syria on Friday with 26 supporters of Bashar al-Assad's regime reportedly killed in an ambush in Aleppo. On the same day France called on Assad's forces to follow the example of a Syrian fighter pilot and defect.

AFP - At least 26 regime supporters were killed in an ambush in the northern province of Aleppo on Friday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"At least 26 supporters of the regime -- believed to be militiamen -- were shot dead in the west of the province of Aleppo," the watchdog said, adding that regime forces have shelled villages in the area for several weeks.

France calls on Syria army to defect

The French foreign ministry called Friday for the Syrian military to desert en masse the day after a Syrian air force colonel defected after landing his MiG fighter in Jordan.

"Yesterday's defection leads us to call on members of the Syrian army and security forces to continue these defections, these desertions and no longer to obey the Damascus regime's criminal orders," ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told journalists.

(AFP)



Amateur video posted on YouTube and distributed by the Observatory showed piles of mangled bodies of young men, their clothing soaked in blood. At least two of the bodies in the footage were wearing fatigues.

"These are shabiha (militiamen) of Bashar al-Assad's regime," the narrator said, withiout identifying himself.

State television said "armed terrorist groups have committed a barbaric massacre, killing more than 25 people."

They were "shot" and their bodies "mutilated," it said, adding that others were kidnapped and their fate remains unknown.

More than 15,000 people have been killed since the revolt against Assad's rule erupted in March last year, according to the Observatory's figures.

Date created : 2012-06-22

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