Iraqi gunmen kill 42 Syrian soldiers, 7 Iraqis: officials

 At least 42 Syrian soldiers and seven Iraqis have been killed in an ambush attack by Iraqi gunmen near the two countries sharing border, Iraqi army officers say.
The convoy of the Syrian soldiers entered Iraq through the Yaarubiyeh border when militants fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s troops took the Syrian side of the border on Saturday, Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Khalaf al-Dulaimi of the border protection forces said on Monday.

There are reports that several Syrian government officials were also among the dead.

The soldiers were on their way back to the border in Iraq’s western Anbar province, where Iraqi authorities were going to hand them over to Syrian officials, Dulaimi said.

Gunmen attacked the convoy from two sides with mortar rounds, automatic weapons and mines. Eight Syrians and four Iraqis were also wounded, and three vehicles in the convoy destroyed.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of Army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government has said that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that a very large number of the militants operating in the country are foreign nationals.

Several international human rights organizations have accused foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes.


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