Fighting in Syria kills 40 near Jordan border - activists

AMMAN Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:22am IST

Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad gather in Hula, near Homs November 13, 2011. REUTERS/Handout

Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad gather in Hula, near Homs November 13, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Handout

Related Topics

AMMAN (Reuters) - At least 40 Syrians were killed in fighting on Monday between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and insurgents in a town near the border with Jordan, local activists said, in the first case of major armed resistance to Assad in the region.

They said troops backed by armour killed 20 people -- army defectors, insurgents and civilians -- in an assault on Khirbet Ghazaleh in the Hauran Plain, and in fighting that ensued near the town. A similar number of troops were killed, they added.

The troops attacked Khirbet Ghazaleh, 20 km (12 miles) north of the border, on the main highway between Amman and Damascus, after army defectors attacked a security police bus at a highway intersection near the town, the activists said.

"Members of the (defectors') brigade fought back when the army attacked and Bedouin from nearby villages also rushed to help Khirbet Ghazaleh," said one of the activists, who gave his name as Abu Hussein.

The Hauran Plain, an area of flat farmland that also borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, was the first outlying area to erupt in street protests against Assad's autocratic rule at the start of the uprising in March. Tanks and troops have been deployed across the region to crush the revolt since then.

(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Suleiman al-Khalidi, Amman newsroom; editing by Tim Pearce)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Mideast Conflict

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Development Report

Development Report

U.N. urges sustained effort to improve flagging development.  Full Article 

Downed Plane

Downed Plane

"Weeks or months" until Malaysian remains from MH17 can be returned home - PM.  Full Article 

Food Scandal

Food Scandal

China probes 581 firms, restaurants as food safety scare spreads.  Full Article 

Plane Crash

Plane Crash

Taiwan says weather not seen as cause of plane crash that killed 48.  Full Article 

Fighting Polio

Fighting Polio

Nigeria may have no polio cases next year, says Bill Gates.  Full Article 

Health Study

Health Study

Paracetamol no better than placebo for low back pain, study finds.  Full Article 

Strategic Plans

Strategic Plans

China plans railway to India, Nepal borders by 2020.  Full Article 

Leaving Russia

Leaving Russia

Disenchanted with Putin, some Russians vote with their feet.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage