Rights Activists Say 25 Syrians Killed in Attacks

Posted December 14th, 2011 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Rights activists say violence across Syria killed at least 25 people Wednesday, including eight Syrian troops who died in a retaliatory attack by suspected army defectors.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the defectors ambushed a military convoy traveling through a village near the flashpoint city of Hama.

Hours earlier, rights activists said Syrian security forces opened fire on a car traveling through another nearby village , killing five civilians. They say security forces killed at least 12 other civilians across the nation.

The latest shootings come a day after a surge in deadly violence in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said forces loyal to the government killed at least 24 people Tuesday, most in Idlib province, where an army raid killed 11 civilians.

The group says Syrian army defectors later killed seven security force members Tuesday when they ambushed a patrol.

Other civilians were killed Tuesday in Idlib when Syrian troops fired on crowds attending funeral processions for those killed earlier.

The United Nations human rights office says it has received credible reports from a variety of sources showing the Syrian death toll at more than 5,000 since March, when the unrest first began. Syria's U.N. ambassador has rejected the figure as “incredible.”

Syria's uprising has turned increasingly violent in recent months, with defecting soldiers fighting back against the army and once-peaceful protesters taking up arms to protect themselves.