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Five gunmen killed in clashes with government forces in central Syria: report

(Xinhua)

15:40, December 02, 2011

DAMASCUS, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Syria's specialized authorities on Thursday killed five "terrorists" and arrested 35 others in central Hama province, as the government sacked the director general of the Syrian customs, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Syria's government forces conducted a very delicate operation in Hama that led to the killing and arresting of "terrorist gunmen " in addition to the seizure of a large amount of weapons and ammunition.

The confiscated weapons included 27 Kalashnikov rifles, nine pump actions, medium machine guns, grenades and remote-controlled explosive devices in addition to sophisticated satellite communication devices.

The report said that the government forces had managed to free a civilian, who was arrested a couple of days ago.

Hama, a city of 800,000 with a history of dissent, had fallen out of government control in June. But Syrian army entered the city on July 31 to fight "terrorist groups" and withdrew on Aug. 7.

The city has a storied history of rebellion against the Syrian leadership and was a stronghold of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, which staged a bloody rebellion in 1982.

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