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At least 36 people were killed in Syria on Wednesday, seven of which died in an attack on a pro-government television near Damascus according to state media, while 29 people died in other violence on the heels of the "bloodiest week" of the 15-month uprising, according to a watchdog.
Ten soldiers were killed on Wednesday before dawn in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, while 15 troops defected to the rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Fierce clashes took place between regime troops and rebel fighters in Deir az-Zour city, where explosions were reported.
Five people were killed in shelling and shooting in the Damascus suburb of Douma and surrounding areas, while regime forces carried out raids and arrests elsewhere in the province.
The central city of Homs was exposed to heavy shelling by regime forces where "living conditions remain difficult because of the blockade and bombardment, which has continued for weeks," the Observatory said.
In the northwestern province of Edleb, clashes and shelling left six civilians and three rebels dead, in addition to five soldiers, among them a colonel of the elite Republican Guard.
More than 15,800 people have been killed since the outbreak of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's regime in March last year, the Observatory said, adding that the seven days to Tuesday were the bloodiest so far.
"The pace of the killings has escalated," the watchdog said.
"The last week was the bloodiest week of the Syrian Revolution," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP by telephone, adding that 916 people were killed from June 20 through 26.
Of the 15,804 people killed since March 2011, 4,681 had lost their lives since a UN-backed ceasefire was supposed to take effect on April 12, he said.