Syrian Army still Deployed after 12 Die in Provincial Clashes
The Syrian army maintained its presence Sunday in the southern Suweida region, a week after 12 people were killed in clashes between nomadic shepherds and farmers, an official in the region told AFP.
"The army is still present, but it has reduced its force," said the official, who did not want his name used.
He said there has been no violence since Thursday and that schools reopened Saturday.
The clashes erupted November 6 when the nomads brought their flocks onto agricultural lands. Ten peasants were killed and another 70 injured.
The official said the Syrian army then came in to protect the peasants, killing two nomads and wounding several others.
He added that 20 nomads were arrested, including the band's leader Saud Nasser, and that their weapons were confiscated.
The official assured that the conflict in Suweida, a predominantly Druze region, had no ethnic or political overtones and that such fighting is commonplace in rural areas.
"The difference this time is that the nomads were armed; that's why there were victims," he said.
The official also denied reports that Suweida residents attacked a police building to protest against the nomads' possession of weapons.
"There is full solidarity between the authorities and residents of Suweida," he said – DAMASCUS (AFP)
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