Syria Pledges “Firm” Response to Reported Police Killing

Posted June 7th, 2011 at 5:35 am (UTC-5)
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Syria is pledging to mount a “firm and decisive” response to what state television called the “massacre” of 120 security personnel in the northwestern city of Jir al-Shughour.

The report Monday could not be confirmed since foreign journalists are not allowed in the country. Syrian opposition activists are disputing the casualty count, suggesting it will serve as an excuse for a new government onslaught.

Syria's interior minister, Ibrahim al-Shaar, says any response will be “in accordance with the law.”

The area around Jir al-Shughour, near the border with Turkey, is the latest region to join an anti-government uprising aimed at ending the 11-year authoritarian rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

A government spokesman admitted that security forces have lost control of areas in and around the town.

Syria is blaming the unrest on armed terrorist gangs supported by foreign “agitators.”

Rights groups say at least 1,100 people have been killed in the government's crackdown against the anti-government campaign that began in March. More than 10,000 have been arrested.