Four killed as Syrian army clashes with suspected defectors
Four people were killed Saturday in clashes between the Syrian army and gunmen believed to be defectors in two areas of the country, said the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"A man was killed this morning (Saturday) in the village of Maar Horma in the Idlib region (near the Turkish border) in clashes between the Syrian army and armed men, who were probably deserters," dpa quoted a statement by the watchdog group.
Three others were killed in similar clashes in the central city of Homs, it added.
The group did not say if the deaths were of government troops or suspected defectors.
On Friday, security forces killed an estimated 22 civilians, mainly in Homs, according to opposition activists.
The government blames "armed gangs" for the violence that has gripped the country for the past seven months.
More than 3,000 people, including at least 187 children, have been killed in the government's crackdown on pro-democracy protests since they began in mid-March, according to the United Nations.