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Idlib - Mar 13, 2012 - 09:53

Last modified: 13 Mar 2012 06:53

A rebel attack before dawn Tuesday on a military checkpoint in the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan killed at least 10 Syrian soldiers, monitors said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a group of army deserters had carried out the attack in Maaret al-Numan, located in Syria's Idlib province.

 The army has since March 9 carried out an offensive in the mountainous region near the Turkish border, in a bid to seize control of the city of Idlib and other towns of the province where rebels are based.

Dozens of people have been killed since last week in on-off army shelling of the city, which is now partly controlled by the regime, and in violence  across the province.

On Monday, the army bombed the Dbeit and Ath-Thawra districts of Idlib, blasting several buildings, an anti-regimeactivist at the scene, Yasser, told AFP. [AFP]