Syrian state media says gunmen kill 3 soldiers

BASSEM MROUE Associated Press Published:

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syria's state-run news agency says gunmen have killed three soldiers and captured others at a checkpoint in the country's north.

SANA said in its report Monday that the attack happened in the Jabal al-Zawiyah region of Idlib province, which borders Turkey.

The Syrian uprising began nearly 11 months ago with mostly peaceful protests against President Bashar Assad, but government forces responded with a fierce crackdown. Now, army defectors and others are taking up arms to fight back, raising fears of civil war.

The attack Monday comes during a wave of violence around the country, concentrated in Idlib and the restive central province of Homs.

Army defectors have been active in these provinces.