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Moscow stresses inadmissibility of arms smuggling in Syria

May 06, 2012, 7:02 UTC+3

Opposition sources report that the students’ unrest has spread from Aleppo to Ar-Raqqah on the Euphrates

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ABU DHABI, May 6 (Itar-Tass) — Another amnesty for the rioters “whose hands are not stained with the blood of peaceful citizens” has been announced in Syria. The SANA news agency reported that on the eve of the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 7, a total of 265 people, detained during the suppression of riots in various parts of the country, have been released. Last year, more than four thousand opposition activists were released from custody in Syria.

In the area of the Silkin city (north-western Idlib province), according to the agency, the Syrian border guards on Saturday clashed with a group of terrorists trying to penetrate into the country from Turkey. There were killed and wounded among the militants, the Syrian soldiers who managed to make the raiders flee to the Turkish territory also suffered losses, SANA reports.

In the country’s northern capital Aleppo (340 km from Damascus) another act of terrorism has been staged. According to the local reports, in the Sakkari district terrorist detonated an explosive device planted in a car. The blast killed three, including one child, 21 people were wounded.

Opposition sources report that the students’ unrest has spread from Aleppo to Ar-Raqqah on the Euphrates. There were clashes between youth activists and the police. Lebanese news agencies reported with reference to the so-called “people’s coordinating committees” that in the southern district of Damascus – Qfar Sousa, the policemen dispersed the participants of an anti-government rally that started after the recent funeral demonstrators who were killed there. The demonstrators chanted slogans calling for the overthrow of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and raised above the crowd the tricolour green-white-black flag of the Syrian National Council – an exile group based in Istanbul. A poster in support of the rebel group Syrian Free Army was hung on the wall of a house. The policemen also dispersed street protests of opposition supporters in the districts of Tadamon and Berzi.

Moscow for its part has called for exerting pressure on the Syrian opposition for the implementation of the peace plan. The Russian Foreign Ministry made this statement on Saturday after a telephone conversation of RF Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with the Arab League - UN Special envoy Kofi Annan. The conversation was initiated by Annan.

“Kofi Annan has informed Sergei Lavrov of his efforts with a view to attaining a peaceful settlement in Syria,” the Russian Foreign Ministry specified. “The deployment in the country of the UN Observer Mission, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2043, was positively assessed. Kofi Annan thanked the Russian side for providing assistance to his activities.”

Lavrov for his part “stressed the need to implement the UN envoy’s peace plan by all Syrian sides - the authorities and the opposition,” the Foreign Ministry informed. “The Russian Federation carries out the corresponding work with all sides,” the ministry stated. “We expect a similar action also from other countries, especially those who have the necessary influence on the Syrian opposition groups.”

“It was pointed out the inadmissibility of the smuggling of weapons to Syria, which will destabilise the situation not only in the country, but also in the whole region,” the RF Foreign Ministry stated.

Lavrov stressed that Russia “will continue to provide all possible support to Kofi Annan’s mission.”

In Egypt, the military prosecutor’s office has decided to release all those women who were detained during the riots that took place in the centre of Cairo on Friday, representatives of the country’s armed forces reported.

“Military justice has decided to release all the women detained in Cairo,” an official of the army command said.

According to the opponents of the Supreme Council of the Egyptian armed forces, 320 participants of riots in Cairo, including 17 women, were arrested.

Another wave of unrest swept Cairo on Friday, when demonstrators gathered again after the Friday prayer in the square in front of the Defence Ministry in Abbassia, which has already been a scene of bloody clashes a few days ago. The protest against the military administration that was beginning peacefully, escalated into violent clashes between the military police and protesters. Hundreds of Egyptians who gathered for a demonstration in the capital’s central Tahrir Square joined the latter in the afternoon.

Army units were pulled in to the Defence Ministry building to disperse the enraged crowd. The army used tear gas and water cannons. As a result of clashes that lasted for several hours, a soldier was killed – he got a gunshot wound in the abdomen. According to the Egyptian Ministry of Health, the number of those injured exceeded 370 people.


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