Syrian forces backed by tanks stormed Friday an area near the border with Jordan in search for army defectors, who have carried deadly attacks against regular army units, opposition activists said.
Under a barrage of shelling, the Syrian tanks attacked the Sanamine area in the dissident province of Daraa, the activists based in Beirut told DPA.
The deserters, who have joined the opposition against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, have reportedly killed more than 45 Syrian government soldiers in attacks in the past three days.
Elsewhere, Syrian troops Friday set up more checkpoints in the rebellious provinces of Homs and Hama to prevent their residents from staging weekly anti-government protests after the noon Muslim prayer, reported activists.
The opposition has called for mass demonstrations Friday dubbed "the Arab League is Killing us," to protest what it sees as the pan-Arab organization's delay in punishing al-Assad's regime for failing to accept a peace plan.
More than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since pro-democracy protests began in mid-March, according to the United Nations.
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