is on the rise.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 27 civilians
were shot dead by security forces while 34 soldiers and 12 suspected
army deserters were killed in clashes.
Most of the victims were killed in the southern flashpoint province of
Daraa, the Observatory said in a statement received in Nicosia.
"Twenty-three people were shot dead by security forces posted along the
road between the towns of Kherbet Ghazale and Hirak," the statement
In the same area, "34 soldiers died in clashes with armed men, apparently army defectors, 12 of whom also died."
Four other civilians were killed by security force fire in the city of
Homs, a protest hub in central Syria, the Observatory said.
According to UN estimates more than 3,500 people have been killed in
the violence that has swept Syria since March 15, when protests against
the regime first erupted in Daraa.