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Syria claims 'massacre' of 120 troops by protesters

Syrian protesters march Friday in the village of Kfar-Nebel. International journalists are barred from Syria and such pictures are sent out of the country by the opposition.

Associated Press

Syrian protesters march Friday in the village of Kfar-Nebel. International journalists are barred from Syria and such pictures are sent out of the country by the opposition.

Syrian state television claimed Monday that 120 members of the nation's security forces have been killed by armed groups in recent days.

The broadcast cited no sources and offered no footage to verify the report of a "massacre" by gunmen at a police station in the restive northwest city of Jisr Shughur, the site of weeks of ongoing clashes between security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and pro-democracy protesters inspired by revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

The report could not be independently confirmed.

Syrian democracy activists said dozens of protesters and bystanders, including children, were killed in the city near the Turkish border in recent days.

State television suggested more violence ahead, with an Interior Ministry official saying "the state will deal firmly and sternly" with the alleged attackers.

The numbers of security officers reportedly killed in attacks at Jisr Shughur cited by state television escalated throughout the day, going from 28 to 40 to 120.

White House won't detail Libya actions

The White House brushed off congressional demands for a detailed report outlining U.S. objectives in Libya, a move likely to stoke further anger on Capitol Hill. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that administration officials were already answering questions about Libya in briefings on Capitol Hill. A House resolution calling on President Barack Obama to provide more detailed answers was "unhelpful," Carney said, suggesting that the administration has no plans to formally respond within the 14-day window outlined in the measure.

Rebels detain civilians: Libya's rebels have arbitrarily detained dozens of civilians suspected of supporting ruler Moammar Gadhafi and at least one has died after apparently being tortured while in custody, Human Rights Watch said Monday while calling on the rebels to give detainees legal protection and investigate abuses. As of May 28, rebel authorities held about 330 people, Human Rights Watch said.

U.S. pushes for Yemen solution

With wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of Yemen, the United States and Saudi Arabia scrambled Monday to arrange a power transfer ensuring an end to his decades-long rule. But Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is acting leader in Saleh's absence, said Saleh was recovering in Saudi Arabia and would return home within days. The Associated Press said it was told by a U.S. official that diplomatic efforts were under way involving the Saudis, the United States, the Yemenis and Gulf Arab nations to revive a U.S.-backed deal in which Saleh would retire, hand power to his vice president, a unity government between his party and the opposition would be formed and presidential elections held within two weeks. In the past weeks, Saleh refused three times to sign the deal.

Man behind Egyptian revolution celebrated

Crowds of Egyptians dressed in black held demonstrations on Monday to honor Khaled Said, a young man from Alexandria who was beaten to death a year ago in a savage attack blamed on police. That attack helped inspire the uprising that brought down Egypt's president. Photographs of Said's badly disfigured and bloodied face, posted on the Internet, became an instant rallying point for campaigners trying to bring attention to rampant police brutality under the regime of Hosni Mubarak. A Facebook page in his honor was used months later to call for protests that toppled Mubarak on Feb. 11. On Monday, crowds held protests in Cairo and Alexandria to remember him and draw attention to continued abuses by Egyptian police.

Information from the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post was used in this report.

Syria claims 'massacre' of 120 troops by protesters 06/06/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2011 10:41pm]
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