DARAA, Syria

Nine Assad regime police officers were killed in an attack by gunmen in southwestern Syria on Monday, according to local sources.

The incident took place in the Daraa province after regime forces arrested two former opposition fighters and executed them by firing squad on Sunday, the sources said.

Relatives of the slain fighters reportedly retaliated by staging an attack on a regime security center in the province’s town of Muzayrib.

According to the sources, the gunmen took nine policemen to an unknown destination before the bodies were found on Monday north of the city of Daraa.

Daraa has witnessed tension between regime forces and former opposition members since a Russian-brokered de-escalation agreement was reached in the province in July 2018.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity, which later developed into bloody clashes and interventions from external forces.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN figures.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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