Syrian gunships, tanks pound rebels in Latakia

By REUTERS
June 6, 2012 12:46

 
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BEIRUT - Syrian army helicopters and tanks pounded rebel positions in the Mediterranean province of Latakia for a second day on Wednesday, activists said, in the heaviest clashes there since the revolt against President Bashar Assad erupted last year.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group which monitors violence in the country, said army reinforcements arrived at dawn, killing a rebel captain in the town of Selma and six civilians in Haffeh, a mostly Sunni Muslim area where clashes have been most intense.

More than 35 people were reported killed on Tuesday and Assad's forces also suffered heavy casualties with at least 26 soldiers killed, many in ambushes by insurgents.

Rebels said on Monday they were no long bound by a ceasefire brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan in April. They said the Assad government had failed to honor it.

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