Syrian Officer Gunned down in Southern Daraa
    2012-04-26 00:08:03     Xinhua       Web Editor: sunwanming

A lieutenant colonel was shot dead Wednesday while heading to his post in a suburb of Syria's southern province of Daraa, at the meantime, authorities found the body of another officer dumped also in Daraa countryside.

Lieutenant Colonel Habes Aslan was assassinated by a sniper shot while en route to his post at Busra al-Harir suburb of Daraa, state-run SANA news agency reported.

Meanwhile, the report said that the body of Captain Nawras Rahieh was found dumped under al-Gharieh bridge at the outskirts of Daraa. Rahieh was kidnapped Tuesday while heading to his post.

More than 10 high ranking officers have been killed or kidnapped over the past three months, as the armed rebels seem to resort to kidnapping and killing to destabilize the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after the government dealt them a strategic blow and prevented them from making territorial gains.

The Syrian government reported a surge in murder and kidnapping by armed groups in the country since the arrival of the UN observers who arrived in Syria 10 days ago to monitor a shaky cease-fire brokered by Arab League-UN joint envoy to Syria Kofi Annan.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has recently said that the armed terrorist groups and the countries that support them did not commit to the plan of the UN envoy, stressing that the national dialogue is the only way out of the crisis.

On the opposition side, activists said government forces fired mortar shells at the Damascus suburb of Douma for the second consecutive day, hours after the observers finished their tour in that hotspot Wednesday.

Meanwhile, SANA said that UN observers patrolled Douma, central Hama and Homs provinces on Wednesday.

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