Six Syrian regime soldiers were killed by Druze gunmen in the southern part of the country, a monitor said on Saturday.
The attack came after two car bomb blasts killed at least 37 people, including a prominent Druze leader in Suweida, a stronghold of Syria's Druze minority, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters. The blasts provoked angry protests as a result.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of Syrian Observatory said that "Sheikh Wahid al Balous was killed in a car-bomb attack as he was driving on the outskirts of Suweida city."
The slain Druze leader was an opponent of the Bashar al Assad regime.
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Syrian state television also confirmed the attacks, saying it killed eight people. However, state media did not make mention of Balous.
Following the attack, dozens of people filled the streets and protested outside the government buildings, setting cars fire and destroying a statue in town of former President Hafez al Assad.
A journalist from Suweida, Malek Abu Kheir, said that Sheik was raising his voice against both the Assad regime and armed groups.
"Balous was the leader of the Sheikhs of Dignity group, which aimed to protect the Druze areas in Syria."
The Druze, a secretive sect, has been divided amid the Syrian civil war. Whilst some of Druze is fighting on behalf of the Assad regime, the others express sympathy for the opposition.