Arab League hits out at Syrian violence

The Arab League repeated its call for the Syrian government to stop all violence and allow more monitors into the country, as activists said at least 10 civilians, including two teenagers, had been killed by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

It came as clashes between government troops and military defectors in the south left 11 soldiers dead.

The Arab League also urged other armed parties to halt all bloodshed, an apparent reference to the defectors. Its ministerial committee said the government and various armed groups should "halt all ... violence and to return to protesting peacefully for the success of the Arab League observers' mission in Syria".

The ministers did not agree to ask United Nations experts to join the observers' mission in Syria, but they will ask UN staff to train the monitors before going in.