Activists Say Clashes in Northwestern Syria Kill 3

Posted October 13th, 2011 at 4:55 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian rights activists say clashes between government security forces and armed men believed to be army defectors have killed three people near the Turkish border.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighting Thursday came as government troops raided the northwestern town of Binnish in Idlib province.

The activists say there were reports of explosions and heavy machinegun fire in the town.

President Bashar al-Assad's government has been using military force to crush months of opposition protests calling for his departure, including operations against military defectors.

The United Nations human rights office say more than 2,900 people have been killed during the government's crackdown. Syria has blamed much of the violence on “armed gangs” and “terrorists.”