Dozens of people were killed Monday in the northern Syrian city of Jisr Al-Shugur in the third consecutive day of violence there, according to reports from the government and opposition groups.
State-run Syrian television reported that 40 members of Syria's security forces were killed in an ambush by "armed gangs" in the city and that some of the bodies were mutilated and thrown along the banks of the Assi River, three were killed when government buildings were set afire and another 37 were killed in clashes at a security center.
State television further reported that the "armed gangs" had stolen five tons of dynamite from a storage area near the Al Abyad Valley Dam. The state security forces were facing hundreds of armed men in Jisr Al-Shugur and were trying to lift the siege of a neighborhood that had been taken over by the "gangs," state TV reported.
It said the state was sending reinforcements.
A resident of Jisr al-Shugur, however, said the city was calm Monday, and that the clashes happened at nearby Khan Shaykhun, where 20 residents and an unknown number of security forces were killed.
He said residents were using hunting rifles.
The Syrian Revolution Facebook page said 10 helicopters were firing at civilians. The page predicted a major military incursion Monday night and appealed to residents to evacuate as soon as possible to Turkey.
An opposition member who lives outside Syria but has sources inside the country who have proved reliable in the past said the clashes over the past three days in Jisr Al-Shugur, Khan Shaykhun and surrounding villages were between members and supporters of the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian security forces.Â He said that 90 security members and 23 opposition members were killed Monday. In addition, nine tanks were destroyed and two helicopters were downed, he said.FULL STORY