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HomeNewsInternational NewsAt least 17 dead in rare clashes in Syria’s Sweida

At least 17 dead in rare clashes in Syria’s Sweida

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Ten government loyalists and seven local fighters died over two days of fighting in the Druze-majority province in southern Syria.

(Al Jazeera) – At least 17 people have been killed and dozens wounded in the southern Syrian province of Sweida in clashes between armed residents and gangs aligned with the government security agencies, activists and local media said.

Ten government loyalists from the “Falhout” faction and seven local fighters died in fighting on Tuesday and Wednesday in two villages in the Druze-majority province, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, raising the toll from 10 a day earlier.

The monitor said that more than 40 people were wounded, including civilians.

The province has remained mostly shielded from the bloody conflict that has ravaged the rest of the country since 2011 but sporadic rallies have taken place over deteriorating economic conditions.

Tensions had risen since Monday, after the abduction of two people close to local armed groups.

Residents had also been growing increasingly frustrated at government-backed fighters carrying out arbitrary detentions, random roadblocks and kidnappings for ransom, said Rayan Maarouf, an activist and head of the Suwayda 24 local media outlet.

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