Syrian TV: Police officers killed in ambush

Claim of 80 deaths in northern town of Jisr al-Shughour follows reports that security forces killed 40 people on Sunday.

Syria’s state television says at least 80 police officers have been killed in the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour in an ambush by “armed groups”.

The report on Monday said that security forces were on their way to the town in response to calls for help from residents, and they died in an ambush and an explosion at a post office.

“The armed groups are using weapons and grenades … the people in Jisr al-Shughour are urging the army to intervene speedily,” state TV said.

Reem Haddad, Syria’s information ministry spokesperson, told Al Jazeera that “this afternoon 40 security officers were killed, and 80 have died since Friday”.

The international media is banned from covering the uprising in Syria, making it nearly impossible to verify the state-controlled media’s claims.

In reaction to the deaths, the country’s interior minister warned that Syria would hit back at armed groups.

“The state will act firmly, with force and in line with the law. It will not stay arms folded in the face of armed attacks on the security of the homeland,” said Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar, in a statement read on television.

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