Over 170 Syrian Rebels Give Up Armed Struggle
12:05 30/04/2012 DAMASCUS, April 30 (RIA Novosti) - Over 170 rebels in Syria have given up armed struggle and surrendered to the Syrian authorities, the news agency Sana reported on Monday.
The rebels were active in the province of Idlib in northwestern Syria and in the suburbs of Damascus.
All the rebels have been set free because “they were not involved in bloody crimes and committed themselves never to take up arms again,” the agency said.
Over 1,000 Syrians involved in anti-government protests have surrendered to the authorities since a UN-brokered ceasefire plan came into effect from April 12.
The UN Security Council has approved the dispatch of 300 observers to Syria to monitor a ceasefire between government and opposition forces as part of the peace plan proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. An advance team of eight observers has already been working in Syria.
The UN says more than 9,000 people have been killed in clashes between the government and the opposition in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.
The Syrian government insists it is combating "armed terrorist gangs" who are seeking to destabilize Syria.
Moscow has twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions over what it called a pro-rebel bias since the start of the uprising against Assad, but has given its full backing to Annan’s peace plan.
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