Syrian troops kill dozens alleged "terrorists" in restive Damascus' suburbs: TV

Updated: 2012-06-29 20:16:00

(Xinhua)

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DAMASCUS, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Syria's state TV says competent authorities have killed dozens of "terrorists" in Damascus' suburb of Douma Friday, as activists said more than 41 people had been killed in relentless shelling on the same rebellious area.

The competent authorities have continued hunting down armed groups in Douma, killing dozens of them and rounding up large number of others, the TV said, citing what it called an official source as saying.

Syrian troops also destroyed communication centers and pickup cars outfitted with automatic machine guns in Douma, said the TV.

It said detention centers have also been found equipped with torture means.

The military operation in Douma is the latest in a series of other operation carried out recently by the Syrian troops in efforts to flush out the armed insurgency from hot-spots areas nationwide, particularly in the suburbs of Damascus.

Meanwhile, the oppositional activist network, Local Coordination Committees, said 59 people were killed during the past 24 hours in shelling around Damascus, mainly in Douma.

While, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based network, placed the death toll of an ongoing shelling in Douma Thursday at 41 people.

An amateur video appeared online Friday, posted by activists, pictured a number of dead bodies shrouded in white blankets and lined up on ground allegedly massacred by the government troops in Douma. All of the dead bodies appeared to have been shot by a blank point range not by shelling.

There has been no independent confirmation of activists' account.

The recent scene comes a day ahead of the upcoming meeting in Geneva of the "action group on Syria," which was called by UN-Arab League joint special envoy Kofi Annan.

Annan urged the holding of the meeting by major powers to find a "common position on proposed outcomes" after his six-point peace plan faltered amid unabated violence in the Middle Eastern country.

The Syrian administration says that every time before any session or meeting of major powers on Syria, a massacre would be manufactured in order to entice condemnation and to be leveraged in order to falter any effort for a solution.

All of the conflict zones across the country have a presence of armed rebels, and in some cases some areas are actually under the de facto control of them such as some northern towns on the borders with Turkey and western ones on borders with Lebanon.

Turkey and Lebanon have played a major role in the evolvement of the Syrian crisis, as the territories of both countries have been used to smuggle weapons and funds to the armed opposition inside. The neighboring countries have also served as routes for foreign fighters, mainly jihadists, to join the armed insurgency in Syria.

Syria has recently announced the names of 26 foreign fighters, most of whom were Tunisians, as being captured by the Syrian troops in a number of hot-spots across the unrest-ridden country.

In a recent interview on Iran state TV, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Syria is under pressure because of its support for the Palestinian cause.

We are moving forward with reforms, Assad said, adding that some countries want Kofi Annan's peace plan to fail in order to blame.

According to excerpts of the interview published by the Iranian Press TV, the Syrian president branded the Syrian armed opposition as "gangs of mercenaries and criminals," insisting that they are driven by paramilitary forces.

Assad also reiterated that "for terrorists and the governments that sponsor them, reforms are not important, since the very forces that claimed (a lack of) reforms were the problem; never benefited from them... all they wanted was (continued) unrest."