Syrian forces opened fire in the coastal city of Banias on Sunday, killing at least four people and injuring dozens, witnesses said.
Five people had earlier been injured in a drive-by shooting reportedly carried out by government agents in the town, according to a witness, speaking to Reuters.
The official SANA news agency quoted a government source as saying an "armed group" had ambushed an army patrol in the city, killing one soldier and injuring others. The source said the incident took place on the Latakia-Tartous Road where the "armed group" was "hiding to the east of the road between the trees and buildings."
Army tanks and troops circled the city, preventing people from entering. Telephone lines, Internet access and electricity were cut in the area .
Meanwhile, Syrian president Bashar Assad said Sunday that the country is "moving ahead on the road of comprehensive reforms," SANA said.