Syria says 28 police dead in ambush in tense north

By the Associated Press | June 6, 2011 | 11:12 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — State-run Syrian television says 28 policemen were killed in an ambush by "armed groups" in a tense northern town.

Security forces have been conducting military operations in the town of Jisr al-Shughour for several days as part of a crackdown on anti-government protests.

Human rights groups say at least 35 people have been killed in the area since the operation began on Saturday.

The TV said in its report Monday that security forces were on their way to the town in response to calls from residents to protect them from armed gangs.

Human rights groups say more than 1,200 people have died in the brutal crackdown against anti-government protesters since March.