Syrian bombings kill nine, injure 100 more in Idlib
A pair of deadly explosions rocked the northern Syrian city, damaging state security buildings.
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"We are starting to get smarter about tactics and use bombs because people are too poor and we don't have enough rifles. It is just no match for the army. So we are trying to focus on the ways we can fight," said one anti-Assad fighter who claimed to be in command of a militia unit.Skip to next paragraph
"The rebels are getting better at bomb-making - as you know, desperation is the mother of invention," he told Reuters in neighbouring Lebanon.
On Saturday, gunmen in inflatable dinghies killed several people in a seaborne assault on a military unit near the port of Latakia, and militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at the central bank in Damascus on Sunday, causing slight damage.
An Islamist group calling itself al-Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least nine people, most of them security officials, in Damascus on Friday. .
Also on Friday, authorities in Beirut seized a ship carrying a large consignment of weapons from Libya, including rocket-propelled grenades and heavy calibre ammunition, that could have been smuggled into Syria.
Lebanese security sources said on Monday Syrian soldiers had fired at a group of four skiers along the mountainous border after they mistook them for smugglers. One Lebanese skier was wounded. Two other Lebanese and a Swiss citizen were unharmed.
U.N. ceasefire monitors are trickling in to Syria, with 30 out of a planned 300 now on the ground. Their Norwegian commander, Major General Mood, a veteran of previous Middle East peace missions, acknowledged the huge task awaiting the unarmed mission but said he was confident it could make headway.
"We will be only 300 but we can make a difference," he told reporters on his arrival in the Syrian capital. "Thirty unarmed observers, 300 unarmed observers, even 1,000 unarmed observers cannot solve all the problems," he said.
An activist in the restive central city of Homs, speaking via Skype, said violence had dropped sharply since the observers deployed a permanent two-man team there last week.
"There are still violations but the shelling and mortar fire has stopped," Karam Abu Rabea said. "We have insisted that the observers stay in Homs because we know if they leave (the attacks) will continue."
Despite the relative calm in Homs, activists said at last 39 people were killed across the country on Sunday, including civilians, security forces and rebels.