Soldiers ambushed in Aleppo amid continuing clashes
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At least 15 troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were killed Wednesday during a rebel ambush in Aleppo province, a rights group said, while sporadic clashes in other cities left at least six soldiers and three civilians dead.
AFP - At least 20 Syrian soldiers and two rebel fighters were killed in violent clashes overnight in the provinces of Aleppo and Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday.
Fifteen soldiers, including two colonels, died in an ambush by rebels at dawn on Wednesday in northern Aleppo province, the Britain-based watchdog said.
The ambush took place near the village of Al-Rai, scene of clashes between opposition fighters and regime forces, the monitor said, adding that two rebel fighters were also killed.
"Syrian regime forces have scaled up military operations in Aleppo in recent days," after a lull in violence following a truce that came into force on April 12, the Observatory said.
Meanwhile, in the Harasta suburb of Damascus, "violent clashes" killed at least six soldiers, the monitoring group added.
In Daraya town in Damascus province, two civilians were killed by soldiers, the organisation said. Another civilian in the same town died Wednesday from wounds he sustained several months ago, the NGO reported.
The eastern province of Deir Ezzor also suffered violence, with shelling by government forces on Al-Dahla village, the Observatory reported. In Al-Quriya town, troops conducted raids and burned down activists' homes, it added.
And in southern Daraa, a civilian was killed by loyalist gunfire in the Al-Lajaa area, the Observatory reported.
Troops were also carrying out raids and arrests in Harasta as well as Zabadani, near Damascus, it said.
The violence took place amid a putative ceasefire that came into effect on April 12, with the United Nations accusing both sides of violating it.
A peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan calls for a daily two-hour humanitarian ceasefire, media access to all areas affected by the fighting, an inclusive Syrian-led political process, a right to demonstrate and the release of detainees.
According to the UN, more than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since an anti-regime uprising broke out in March last year, while the Observatory puts the figure at more than 11,100.
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