8 killed in Syria violence, even as UN mission grows


Violence in Syria cost at least eight lives on Saturday even as a UN force to oversee a truce neared half its planned strength, monitors said, while an Islamist group claimed deadly blasts in Damascus.

In Idlib province, a stronghold near the Turkish border of rebels fighting President Bahar al-Assad’s regime, security force gunfire killed a man and a woman during a series of raids, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A third civilian was killed in pre-dawn shelling of the village of Mork in central Hama province, the Britain-based watchdog said, while a fourth was killed by sniper fire in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor.

And four soldiers were killed in clashes between armed rebel groups and regime forces in Hantuten village of Idlib province, northwest Syria, according to the Observatory.