Syria: 18 Security Forces Killed in Various Attacks

April 20, 2012  

A powerful blast killed ten members of the security forces in the southern Syrian region of Quneitra on Friday, state television reported.

The report blamed the explosion on “terrorists.”

“An armed terrorist group detonated a 100-kilogram (220-pound) bomb in Sahm al-Jolan in the region of Quneitra, killing 10 members of the security forces,” the channel said, according to a report on AFP.

The state run SANA news agency said the bomb was detonated by remote control and targeted a bus transporting government troops.

The largely abandoned Quneitra province is located near Syria’s border with Israel. The capital of the Quneitra province is the city of Quneitra, which was conquered by Israeli troops during the 1967 Six Day War. It was briefly recaptured by Syria during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, but Israel regained control in a subsequent counter-offensive.

The city was almost completely destroyed before Israeli withdrew from it in June of 1974. Today, it lies in a demilitarized United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone between Syria and Israel, a short distance from the de facto border between the two countries, and is populated by only a handful of families.

In March, a Syrian human rights organization reported that clashes broke out between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army and rebels in the Quneitra province.

The organization said the fighting took place in the village of Jebata al-Khashab, which is located just two kilometers from the border fence with Israel.

Meanwhile on Friday, five Syrian soldiers were killed in a similar bomb attack in the town of Karak, in the southern Daraa province.

SANA also blamed the second bombing on “armed terrorist groups.”

Three more soldiers were killed in separate incidents elsewhere, according to state media.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said 13 civilians were killed on Friday across the country, according to AFP.

The group said regime forces killed an activist in Idlib, two civilians in Damascus and one in Aleppo and another in a bomb blast in the same region.

Five civilians were also killed in the shelling of neighborhoods in Homs in central Syria, while gunfire and explosions were also heard in Qusayr near Homs, where the Observatory reported three civilian deaths.

The violence continues despite a cease-fire, brokered by UN envoy Kofi Annan, which was supposed to go into effect last Thursday.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Assad of tougher measures if he squanders his “last chance.”

“It is obviously quite concerning” Clinton said in Brussels, that the “guns of the Assad regime are once again firing in Homs, Idlib and elsewhere.”

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