Bassem Mroue
The Independent

October 17, 2011

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five soldiers and other members of security forces were killed in the town of Qusair, near the border with Lebanon. The town has seen clashes between troops and suspected defectors for weeks.

To the north, troops also battled with suspected defectors in the town of Hass, where 17 people were wounded. It was not clear whether civilians numbered among the casualties, according to the observatory.

Syria-based rights activist Mustafa Osso said there were also clashes Monday in the nearby Jabal al-Zawiya region, near Hass, but he had no immediate word on casualties. The observatory also said two civilians were killed and six wounded in the central city of Homs during raids by security forces. The city has been a key focus of protests.

The Syrian uprising began more than seven months ago by mostly peaceful protesters looking to topple a regime that has held power for more than four decades.

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