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Arab monitors tour restive cities as "terrorism" continue in Syria

(Xinhua)

14:08, January 03, 2012

DAMASCUS, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Arab observers carried on with their mission on Monday and toured some restive Syrian provinces as "terrorist acts" continued unabatedly nationwide.

The monitor mission in unrest-torn Homs province in central Syria visited Rastan, Baba Amro and the National Hospital, state- run SANA news agency reported, adding other teams toured the northern province of Idlib and some suburbs of the capital Damascus and met with the residents.

In the Egyptian capital of Cairo where the Arab League (AL) is based, AL chief Nabil al-Arabi said Monday that the Syrian military has pulled back from residential areas and is on the outskirts of the country's cities, calling on Syria to clear snipers and immediately halt shootings.

"There are still snipers on the roof of buildings. Syria must stop the gunfire immediately," said Arabi during a press conference held in Cairo.

"The Arab League monitors visited six Syrian cities, and has an operation room to follow up the situation in Syria via the mission, " Arabi said, adding that the pan-Arab body has 70 monitors and the number could be increased to more than 100 within a few days.

"The duty of the Arab League mission in Syria is difficult and could not be carried out within a few days", Arabi said, pointing out that crimes were committed even in places where peacekeeping forces existed.

He meanwhile called on the media not to publish stories until being sure of their credibility.

Back in Syria, also on Monday, a law-enforcement member was killed in front of the National Hospital in Homs when "an armed terrorist group" opened fire at police patrol stationing before the hospital, according to SANA.

In another incident, an engineering unit dismantled two explosive devices weighing 10 kg each in two areas near Homs, said SANA, adding that the two explosives were handmade and were set to go off remotely.

Also in Homs, "an armed group" stormed a medical center in al- Qusair area and stole its contents, including medical supplies, equipment and assorted items such as telephones and fans, SANA reported Monday.

In central Hama province, a woman was found killed Monday after being kidnapped for three days by gunmen, said SANA.

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