Eight people believed killed in latest round of Syrian violence

In Syria, at least eight people are reported to have been killed, even as the number of UN monitors in the country neared half of its planned strength.

Security forces have been carrying out raids in the city of Idlib in which a man and a woman have been killed by gunfire.

Elsewhere four soldiers have died in clashes with rebel forces in the northwest of the country.

The latest violence comes as an Islamist group is claiming responsibility for Thursday's suicide blasts which killed at least 55 people in Damascus.

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