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Syrian armed forces kill 30 civilians: NGO

world Updated: Apr 07, 2012 23:32 IST

Syrian armed forces killed nearly 30 civilians on Saturday, all but three of them in an assault on the town of Latamna in central Hama province, a monitoring group said.

"Twenty-seven people were killed in the bombardment and shooting during an attempt by the military to storm the town of Latamna," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Farther to the south at Qusayr in central Homs province, violence killed three other civilians including a woman and a child, as well as a defector from the police, said the Observatory.

The latest fighting comes despite strong condemnation by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who slammed the government of President Bashar al-Assad for stepping up attacks on cities despite agreeing on a truce.

At least 77 people were killed across Syria on Thursday and 35 on Friday, most of them civilians, according to figures from the Britain-based Observatory.

According to UN estimates, more than 9,000 people have died in the regime's crackdown on an uprising that began in March last year, inspired by Arab Spring protests that toppled long-time dictators in Tunisia and Egypt.

AFP is unable to confirm the accuracy of the information and the tolls because of draconian restrictions placed on journalists by the Syrian authorities.