More than 70 people were killed in violence across Syria yesterday, one of the bloodiest days since an anti-regime uprising began eight months ago, according to a new toll by activists today.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 27 civilians were shot dead by security forces while 34 soldiers and 12 suspected army deserters were killed in clashes.
Most of the victims were killed in the southern flashpoint province of Daraa, the Observatory said in a statement received in Nicosia.
“Twenty-three people were shot dead by security forces posted along the road between the towns of Kherbet Ghazale and Hirak,” the statement said.
In the same area, “34 soldiers died in clashes with armed men, apparently army defectors, 12 of whom also died.”
Four other civilians were killed by security force fire in the city of Homs, a protest hub in central Syria, the Observatory said.
According to UN estimates more than 3,500 people have been killed in the violence that has swept Syria since March 15, when protests against the regime first erupted in Daraa.