Syrian soldier reportedly shot dead in Banians

BEIRUT - Syria's state news agency said snipers killed a soldier on Thursday in the coastal city of Banias, where authorities had been trying to ease tensions after protests against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Rights campaigners had said authorities had agreed to replace secret police in Banias with army patrols as part of a deal to reduce tension in the restive city.
The agency quoted a source saying "a group of armed snipers shot today a number of army members while they patrolled the city of Banias... One was martyred and another wounded".