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Syria opposition groups look to unify
03:18 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

NEW: 162 are dead in Syria, including 32 in a "massacre" in Idlib province, opposition says

Opposition activists say a suicide bomber kills 50 Syrian soldiers

A Russian diplomat rejects U.N.- Arab League envoy's call for transition-of-power resolution

"If the priority is to save lives" in Syria, there is no need for such a resolution, diplomat says

CNN  — 

Scores of people were killed in violence across Syria on Monday, opposition activists said, while Russia insisted a political solution was the only answer to end the bloodshed.

Here are fresh developments in Syria’s bloody civil war:

Opposition: 50 regime soldiers killed at checkpoint

A suicide bomber killed at least 50 Syrian soldiers Monday at a checkpoint in Hama province, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The opposition group said the bomber was from the al-Nusra Front, which has claimed responsibility for past suicide attacks.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said a suicide bomber killed two people and injured 10 others.

CNN cannot independently confirm government or opposition reports out of Syria, as the government has restricted access by journalists.

At least 162 people were reported dead Monday across Syria, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria. This figure includes 72 dead in Idlib province, among them 32 “martyred (in a) massacre in Kafr Nabl.” Eight women, seven children and two citizen journalists were among the casualties, the LCC said.

Samer Kreishi was killed in fighting in the Damascus suburb of Arbeen, where government forces and rebels have been fighting sporadically for months, the LCC said.

Another journalist, Nasser Sheikhani, was killed during shelling in Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest city, the group said.

The two were described by the LCC as “citizen journalists” who routinely documented violence by government forces with the use of video and photographs, which were then uploaded on YouTube and other social media sites.

More than 33,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011, the opposition says.

Russian diplomat: ‘No need for any type of resolution’

Russia’s top diplomat dismissed a call by the U.N.-Arab League special envoy for the Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for a transition of power in Syria.

Read more: Russia: We won’t back a foreign force in Syria

“If the priority is the change of (the government), then there will be more blood. But if the priority is to save lives, then there is no need for any type of resolution,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Sunday after a meeting with the special envoy in Cairo.

Lavrov’s comments followed news that the special envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, called on the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for a transition of power in Syria that permanent Security Council members agreed upon in June. The resolution, known as the Geneva deal, was put together by his predecessor, Kofi Annan, and called for a transitional government in Syria.

Brahimi’s call for the resolution came after the collapse of a holiday cease-fire he had pushed for between government forces and rebels.

Security blog: U.S. says Russian attack helicopters on way to Syria

The Geneva agreement did not lay out how power would be transferred, nor did it spell out any role for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been under enormous international pressure to step down and end the conflict.

China and Russia, permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have repeatedly blocked attempts to adopt a resolution.

Many have accused Russia of backing the Syrian government, but Russia says it just wants a political solution for Syria determined by its own people.

China, meanwhile, has offered a four-point plan to end the war, calling for a cease-fire, plans for political settlement and transition, and international humanitarian aid.

Bullets stray into Israel

An Israeli military vehicle was hit by bullets coming from southwestern Syria on Monday night, an Israeli military spokesman said, in what appears to be the latest instance of violence in Syria crossing into neighboring countries.

No one was injured by the gunfire, and Israeli officials do not believe its vehicles were targeted, the spokesman said. But the bullets are believed to be related to Syria’s ongoing civil war.

Israel’s military filed a complaint about the incident with the United Nations, according to the military spokesman.