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Syria Says 120 Police Killed In Northern Town; Activists Reject Official Account

06.06.2011 17:49

Syrian state television says 120 members of its security forces have been killed in fighting against hundreds of gunmen in the northwestern town of Jisr Al-Shughour.

If true, it would be the deadliest single incident since protests against President Bashar al-Assad began in March.

But activists disputed the official television account. They said a mutiny occurred at a local security headquarters, where security forces executed policemen who refused to open fire on demonstrators.

Neither the official report nor the activists' version could be independently confirmed, as the government has severely restricted foreign media.

Interior Minister Ibrahim Shaar said the government would "not be silent" and would deal "decisively" with attacks against the state.

The state television report said security forces were continuing to battle gunmen who set up blockades in Jisr Al-Shughour.

Rights activists say at least 35 people have been killed since security forces began conducting military operations in Jisr al-Shughour on June 4.

More than 1,200 people have reportedly died in the 11-week unrest.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/syria_says_police_killed_in_northern_town/24225350.html

Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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