BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian rebels killed 15 members of the security forces in an ambush on Wednesday, a monitoring group said, and a human rights organization accused Damascus of war crimes in last month's run-up to a U.N.-brokered truce.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been tracking the 14-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, said two rebel militiamen also died in clashes that followed the ambush in the northern province of Aleppo.
State media carried no news of the attack, the latest in a series of heavy losses inflicted on pro-Assad forces in the last week by some of the disparate militias fighting for his downfall.
Twelve soldiers died in a firefight in the eastern town of Deir al-Zor on Tuesday, the Observatory said, and nine people, including security officials, died in twin suicide bombs in the restive town of Idlib on Monday, according to state media.
Most independent media are barred from Syria or have their movements restricted, making it hard to verify such reports.
The United Nations says Syrian forces have killed 9,000 people in a violent crackdown on mass protests that started against Assad in March 2011. The initially peaceful demonstrations have since turned into a bloody guerrilla insurgency.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Syrian ceasefire: Assad regime accused of war crimes, rebels kill 15