DAMASCUS, May 31 (Xinhua) -- As many as 31 Syrian inmates have been killed over the past two weeks due to the rebels' bombardment on the central prison of Syria's northern Aleppo city, the Britain- based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.
The rebels have besieged the prison earlier this month when they blew up two car bombs to break the government troops' siege. However, their attempt to storm the facility and take over it has been a failure so far.
The dead prisoners were buried in one of the prison's yards, the Observatory said, adding that the prolonged fighting for controlling the prison has claimed the lives of 40 government soldiers.
Separately, the Observatory claimed that 19 men from the capital Damascus' suburb of Qatana were tortured to death in government-run detention centers.
Meanwhile, Syria's state-run SANA news agency said the Syrian troops on Friday carried out operations against armed opposition fighters in Aleppo countryside, killing and injuring many of them in the industrial city in al-Sheikh Najar area and the areas surrounding Minnegh airbase and the central prison.
Army units clashed with armed groups in the vicinity of Aleppo' s central prison in al-Maslamyeh area and destroyed their dens, SANA said, adding that 12 rebels were killed near a cemetery and a gas station in the countryside of Aleppo.
MOSCOW, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Discussion over the Syrian crisis is expected to top the upcoming Russia-EU summit agenda, an official said here Friday.
During the two-day summit due in Russia's Yekaterinburg on June 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin will air the position on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's resignation if the issue is brought up by the EU delegation led by European Council President Herman van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters. Full story
DAMASCUS, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Syria's main opposition group's rejection to take part in the forthcoming international meeting on the Syrian crisis is an attempt to buy more time to solve their internal disputes and obtain new gains, analysts said.
After a week-long meeting in Turkey's Istanbul, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the main umbrella opposition group in exile, said Thursday it would not join talks in Geneva in mid-June in light of the "invasion of Iran and Hezbollah's militias to the Syrian territories." Full story