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Military operation in Syria's Rastan accomplished: report

(Xinhua)

10:08, October 02, 2011

DAMASCUS, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Syrian government troops accomplished its operation in the town of Rastan in central Syria, private Al-Ekhbaria TV reported Saturday.

Al-Ekhbaria TV said that a large amount of weapons were confiscated during the operation in Rastan, adding that a total of 140 wanted people were arrested, including "armed groups leaders who call themselves the Free Syrian Army."

The Syrian official SANA news agency quoted a military sources as saying Thursday that the law-enforcement forces, backed by some government forces, started a "qualitative" operation Thursday against armed terrorist groups in al-Rastan town in the central province of Homs.

Meanwhile, the Doha-based al-Jazeera TV cited sources as saying that about 10 tanks rolled into al-Rastan earlier Saturday, as fights between security forces and defectors continued for the fourth straight day in the town, which has emerged as a hub of protests and a stronghold of army defectors.

The report, however, couldn't be independently verified as journalists are banned from heading to troubled areas.

Syrian official media said about six people were killed Friday in separate incidents by armed groups, while some activist groups said at least 11 people were killed by security forces during Friday protests.

Syria has been wracked for six months by unrest which it blames on foreign conspiracy and foreign thugs. A recent UN tally put the number of the civilians who were gunned down by security forces during the past six months at 2,700.

Syrian president's political and media adviser, Buthayna Shaaban, has recently put the number of army officers and law- enforcement troops who were killed since the eruption of protest in Syria in mid March at 800.


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