Eight dead as Syrian army clamps down on restive north

At least eight people were killed on Friday as Syrian government troops clamped down on protestors in the restive town of Jisr al-Shughour near the Turkish border, Syrian state television said.

The troops had gained full control of the town by Friday afternoon, after a morning of fighting anti-government protesters, the Syria TV station reported. It said the citizens of the town had welcomed the troops for bringing stability.

Some 2,800 residents fled to Turkey on Friday morning after the government announced the operation to “restore security” to the town on Syria’s northwestern border, where the authorities say 120 security personnel were killed by “armed gangs” earlier this week.

The TV channel said militants had set fire to government buildings and were firing at civilians and security forces with machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Since foreign media is banned from Syria, no reliable information is available on the numbers killed in the invasion.

In 1980s Jisr al Shughour was a stronghold of the country’s banned Muslim Brotherhood Islamist group.

Human rights groups say more than 1,000 civilians have been killed since an uprising against the 41-year rule of President Bashar al-Assad began in March.

More pro-democracy protesters took place in at least four cities on Friday, with protesters saying that at least 32 people were killed accross the country, according to the Associated Press.

MOSCOW, June 10 (RIA Novosti)

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