Unknown gunmen killed nine Syrian policemen on Monday in a southern village close to the border with Jordan, state media and an opposition war monitor said.
The attack occurred in the province of Daraa where Syria’s anti-regime uprising began in March 2011 before morphing into a war that has killed more than 400,000 people and displaced half the country’s population.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, reported that a group of unknown gunmen kidnapped the policemen before shooting them dead.
"Unknown assailants attacked the municipality building... abducting nine members of the security forces before shooting them dead and abandoning their bodies in a square," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
Syria’s state news agency SANA said that the nine policemen were killed in the village of Muzayreeb by “terrorists” who attacked them while they were on duty. It listed the names of the dead policemen without giving further details. The regime often refers to the opposition and extremist groups as terrorists.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack.
Attacks are common in Daraa province, which was retaken by regime forces from the opposition in 2018, usually targeting loyalists and civilians working for the state, according to the Observatory.
But the nature of Monday's incident and high toll are unusual.
"Usually attacks against regime forces target checkpoints or patrols, not government buildings," Abdel Rahman said.
Sleeper cells of the ISIS extremist group have been recently increasing their attacks in eastern Syria. Last month ISIS claimed responsibility for the killing of two Syrian regime officers in the same province.