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Syria bloodshed kills 41 on Thursday, activists say

At least 41 people, including 23 civilians, were killed across Syria on Thursday, a watchdog said, a day after at least 55 were slaughtered in a new massacre near the central city of Hama.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 15 regular army troops and three rebels were among the 41 people killed across the country.

Three civilians, including a girl child, and a rebel, were killed in shelling by regime troops in the Talbisa area in the central province of Homs, the Britain-based Observatory said.

The rebel was killed when hit by fire from a helicopter, the watchdog said, adding that nine soldiers also died in Talbisa.

Two civilians were also killed in the city of Homs, including one in the Jobar neighborhood in army shelling, while a third civilian who died at a checkpoint.

Four civilians were also killed in the central province of Hama.

In Al-Hafa region, in the northwestern province of Latakia, eight civilians were killed as clashes raged between rebels and government troops, the observatory said.

Two rebels and four soldiers died in the clashes, while 35 troops were wounded, it said, adding that the army sent reinforcements to the area.

Two civilians were shot dead in Damascus—one in the city and another in the northern suburb of Douma, the watchdog said.

A civilian was killed in regime shelling of Deir Jamal village in the northern province of Aleppo, while another was killed at a checkpoint in Aazaz area in the province.

A sniper also shot dead a civilian in Ariha in the northwestern province of Edleb, the Observatory said.

A judge in a military court and his assistant were assassinated outside the court in the village of Tafas in the southern province of Daraa, cradle of uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, the Observatory said.

It also reported clashes there.

The latest violence comes a day after at least 55 people, mostly from the same family, were killed in a new massacre.

"There are 49 confirmed and identified victims in Al-Kubeir, the majority of them from the Al-Yateem family," said the Observatory's Rami Abdel Rahman.

"Among the dead are 18 women and children," he added.

Abdel Rahman said another six people were also killed on Wednesday in a village near Al-Kubeir, which is in a farming area northwest of Hama.

Earlier tolls from opposition groups had put the massacre death toll at between 87 and 100.

Both the Observatory and the opposition Syrian National Council have blamed the massacre on militiamen loyal to Assad's regime, which denied involvement.

The government said a "terrorist group" was behind an assault in Al-Kubeir that it said left nine people dead.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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