Syria’s state television, on Monday 06/06/2011, said at least 80 police officers have been killed in the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour in an ambush by “armed groups”. Jisr al-Shughour is located in North West Syria, close to the Turkish border on the western bank of the Orontes (Assi River in Arabic). According to some sources locals have stolen five tones of dynamites from the dam in Sad Wadi Abyadh area in Jisr al-Shughour, SANA said, adding that they have attacked a place that keeps the dynamites, destroyed its walls and stole the explosives.

The report said that security forces were on their way to the town in response to calls for help from residents, and they died in an ambush and an explosion at a post office.

“The armed groups are using weapons and grenades … the people in Jisr al-Shughour are urging the army to intervene speedily,” Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar, the interior minister said  in the Syrian state TV. The international media is banned from covering the uprising in Syria, making it nearly impossible to verify the state-controlled media’s claims.

An activist in Jisr al-Shughour, who spoke to Al-Jazeera T.V Network on the condition of anonymity, said that the situation in the city was quiet on Monday after the previous day’s violence.”Today we didn’t have any particular events, the situation was calm. But we had some news that there was a group of armed forces headed towards us,” he said.

Over the past two days Facebook and Twitter have seen debates even within opposition activists and opposition figures on the new phenomenon of some of the protesters resorting to arms, attacking the security forces, sometimes with weapons.

Six human-rights groups within Syria issued a joint statement on Monday condemning “the excessive use of force to disperse peaceful gatherings of unarmed Syrian citizens”.

Violence across Syria on Sunday left at least 40 people dead, including 35 in the northwest, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the AFP news agency. Foreign news agencies like the British Telegraph and the CNN insisted that at least 120 Syrian were killed in North West Syria, on Monday 06/06/2011.

Rights groups say more than 1,100 civilians have been killed and at least 10,000 arrested in Syria since protests against the Bashar al-Assad’s rule erupted in mid-March.

Damascus insists the unrest is the work of “armed terrorist gangs” backed by Islamists and foreign agitators.

There are growing signs that Syria is sliding to civil war. The Syrian regime used so far its Republican Guard and the elite armored division no.4, both controlled by the Persident’s brother Maher Assad and manned in large extent by the Alaouite minority of the Assad family that run Syria, moving them from place to place. Alaouites are considered by most of Muslims as infidels. Most of the Syrian population and the compulsory servicemen are Sunnis and their loyalty to Assad’s family is more than doubtful. There are reports of desertion and Syrian soldiers shot by their colleagues. By all means Bashar Assad cannot rely on the Syrian army – on the contrary (see – Assad’s Match-Point).
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