Syrian forces, rebels in first clash after truce
Beirut, April 13, 2012
Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad fought rebels near the border with Turkey on Friday, activists said, the first clash since a UN-brokered ceasefire came into effect a day earlier.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighting broke out in the northwestern province of Idlib, close to the border with Turkey, after army troops deployed to try to clear rebels out of the area.
Some of the gunmen pulled out when the shooting started, the group's director Rami Abdulrahman said. He said there were no immediate reports of casualties and the fighting appeared to have stopped.
The grassroots Local Coordination Committees said there had been heavy gunfire in the village of Kherbet Joz, close to the Turkish frontier. Dozens of tanks were deployed on the edge of the village, it said.
Abdulrahman said that Thursday's ceasefire, brokered by international mediator Kofia Annan, appeared to be holding in the rest of the country, but there was still no sign of any army withdrawal from urban centres, as called for by Annan.
The United Nations says Assad's forces have killed 9,000 people since an uprising against him erupted 13 months ago.
Authorities blame the violence on foreign-backed militants who they said have killed more than 2,500 police and soldiers.-Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Confusion as search for lost jet spreads
- Military denies lost plane's flight to Malacca
- Investors monitoring Pimco after internal strife
- N Korea tanker ‘leaves Libya rebel port carrying oil’
- Malaysia plane incident not terror related: Interpol
- Crimea closes air space to commercial flights
- Missing Malaysian plane last seen At Malacca Strait
- Stolen passport holder on missing plane is Iranian
- China deploys 10 satellites to search for Malaysia jet
- Libya says halts tanker outside port; rebels deny it
- Libya orders military force to 'liberate' ports
- Big bananas: Chiquita, Fyffes merge
- Radar sweeps, dozens of aircraft, but no sign of plane
- N Korea tanker loads oil at Libya rebel port
- Gold drops as US growth optimism weighs
- Merkel raps Putin; Russia tightens grip on Crimea
- World 'at sea' over missing Malaysian jetliner
- Passports requiring probe were on Malaysia flight
- 40 killed in Yemen as Houthi fighters near capital
- Vietnam finds object in sea; search on
- $5bn poll spend to boost India economy
- Libya authorises use of force against Korean tanker
- Ukraine PM says he will go to US to discuss crisis
- Syrian journalist killed covering fighting
- Malaysian jet may have turned back before vanishing
- No sign of missing plane; Malaysia probes false passports
- Two Europeans not on board 'missing' Malaysian jet
- China draws red line on North Korea
- Saudi sentences three to death for 2003 bombing
- First bitcoin machine opens in UK