Syrian army raids two towns
The Syrian army is ready to storm the eastern border town of Al-Bukamal, next to Iraq, where "armed groups" have created an "explosive" situation," Al-Watan daily reported on Sunday. "The situation in Al-Bukamal is explosive, so the army is preparing to intervene... because the authorities fear an armed revolt in this border town where (insurgents) can easily find logistical and political support," it said.
A civilian diedin the area on Saturday when security forces opened fire to break up a protest against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, according to AFP.
However, the official SANA news agency spoke of "armed terrorist gangs who stormed a government building and seized the weapons stored there," adding that three security personnel died and two kidnapped in the attack.
Al-Watan said the "situation was back to normal" in the central city of Hama. "The efforts the new governor of Hama has made with civic leaders have borne fruit. The state of civil disobedience which lasted 13 days is over," Al-Watan said.
Meanwhile, Syrian troops backed by tanks stormed a town Sunday near the border with Lebanon as security forces rounded up more than 500 people, activists said. Human rights activist Mustafa Osso said government forces entered the town of Zabadani, some 40 kilometers northwest of Damascus, early Sunday. The town has seen a string of protests calling for Assad's departure since the uprising started in mid-March. According to Osso, authorities have arrested more than 500 people since Friday