Syria’s state-run news agency says gunmen have shot and killed a high ranking Syrian military officer in the capital, Damascus.
The SANA news agency says three gunmen opened fire on Brigadier-General Issa al-Khouli Saturday morning as he left his home. Al-Khouli was a doctor and head of a Damascus military hospital. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Tensions remain high across the country as security forces tighten their grip on opposition areas. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told VOA at least 31 people were killed in fighting across the country on Saturday.
Rights groups say more than 300 people were killed in the flashpoint city of Homs in the past week as part of the government’s continuing crackdown on rebellious areas.
The Free Syrian Army and government troops clashed for several hours overnight in Damascus and in the southern city of Douma.
Syrian authorities have blamed what they call “armed terrorists” for the revolt.
Across the border in the Lebanese town of Tripoli, at least two people were killed and several others wounded in sectarian fighting between the town’s Alawites and Sunni Muslim populations Saturday. The Sunni Muslims oppose the Syrian regime, while Alawites support President Bashar al-Assad, who is part of the Shi’ite offshoot.