DAMASCUS, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Armed "terrorist groups" on Friday attacked the housing areas for servicemen in the southern province of Daraa, killing a sergeant and wounding two, official SANA news agency reported.
"Terrorist groups" also opened fire on local residents in the towns of Saida and Tafas, leaving many of them killed or injured, SANA said.
About 156 members of the groups were arrested and 50 of their motorcycles were seized, it said.
The military had confronted another "terrorist group", which tried to cut off the main road that connected the central provinces of Homs and Hama, SANA said, adding that the confrontation led to the deaths of three soldiers and many casualties of the members of the "terrorist group".
"Army units managed to recover two soldiers in the city of Daraa after tracking down the armed terrorist groups that abducted the soldiers at dawn on Friday," an official military source was quoted by SANA as saying.
The source had stated earlier that an armed terrorist group attacked at dawn Friday a military location in Daraa, leading to the killings of four military personnel and the abduction of two.
Syria has been gripped by months of protests that erupted in a number of cities amid calls for sweeping reforms. The government said 293 policemen were wounded by attacks allegedly launched by " extremist terrorist groups". The Syrian authorities blamed the unrest on "armed thugs and foreign conspiracy."