23 Syrian troops killed in clashes with rebels

Beirut, Oct 3 (IANS/EFE) At least 23 Syrian troops were killed Friday during clashes with anti-government rebels in the town of Deir al-Ades, south of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.

The London-based NGO said that the army tried to regain control of the town but were repulsed by the insurgents.
There was no immediate word from Syrian authorities on the report of casualties in the fighting.
In a related development, the Nusra Front, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, announced in a statement the start of a new offensive, called “Liberate”, in eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus.
Ghouta is the main rebel bastion in the suburbs of the capital where the army has intensified its efforts to root out the insurgents.
The number of documented deaths in the Syrian conflict between March, 2011, and April, 2014, has reached 191,369 and nearly 9,000 of those killed were children, the UN said.