DAMASCUS, Feb. 02 (Xinhua) -- Three law-enforcement members were killed, including an officer, and five others were injured when the government troops clashed Thursday with armed groups in the southern province of Daraa, Syrian state-run SANA news agency reported.
Members of the armed groups were killed as others were arrested during the clashes that took place at al-Jiza town, a suburb of Daraa, said SANA. It said that large quantities of weapons were also seized from those groups.
In northern Idlib province, two first lieutenants were wounded when an explosive device blew up on a road near the industrial city in the restive province.
Also in Idlib, an unidentified group fired a mortar shell Thursday near a hospital, but no human or material loss was reported, according to private Sham FM radio.
The shell fell near a national hospital in Idlib's Jisr al- Shughur area, the radio quoted a military source as saying without further details.
Meanwhile, two workers at a spinning company in central Homs province were injured when an armed group targeted their bus near the National Hospital in the restive province.
Some Syrian provinces, such as Homs, Hama, Idlib, and some suburbs of Damascus, have witnessed severe clashes between government troops and militia groups, allegedly comprising of Syrian army defectors. The daily grind of violence has stocked fears that the country might be sliding towards a civil war.
The head of the so-called Syrian Free Army, a group of alleged defectors, who were given refuge in Turkey, has recently pledged to carry out wide-scale attacks against army bases across Syria.
Syrian army forces have over the past couple of days stepped up their crackdown against restive areas in central Syria and the Damascus suburbs, showing that the government's patience is running thin and addressing an unambiguous message that it has decided to settle down the situation once and for all and end the spiraling violence it has blamed on armed groups that want to mess with the country's security and stability.
The Syrian government said more than 2,000 army and security personnel have been killed during the months-long unrest, while the United Nations put the death toll in the country at more than 5,400.