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Syria denies military entrance, bombardment in northeastern province: official

08-08-2011 14:26 BJT

CAIRO, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- An official military source on Sunday categorically denied as "baseless" media reports by satellite TV stations that the Syrian army entered and bombarded the northeastern province of Deir al-Zour.

The unnamed source was cited by the official SANA news agency as saying these media channels are spreading lies and sedition as well as escalating tension and confusion.

Not even one tank entered Deir al-Zour, the source said, adding that some army units are dismantling and removing barricades and barriers erected by armed groups at the city entrances.

The army did not enter any city unless people asked for its intervention to restore normalcy and put an end to the killings and sabotaging acts carried out by armed groups, the source said.

Meanwhile, SANA said that three army personnel, including an officer, were killed on Sunday by armed groups' gunfire in the town of Rastan in central Syria.

Earlier in the day, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stressed that his country is moving on steadily with the process of reforms and would simultaneously handle the outlaws to preserve the country's security.

Quoted by SANA, al-Assad said that dealing with outlaws, who are cutting off roads, blocking the cities and terrorizing residents, "is the duty of the state to protect the life and security of its nationals."

Also Sunday, Syrian President's adviser for political and media affairs, Bouthayna Shaaban, said that if the Turkish Foreign Minister is visiting Syria to deliver a "firm message" to Syria, " he would hear stronger words."

Shaaban censured the Turkish stance for failing so far "to condemn the atrocities committed against civilians, militants and policemen" in Syria, SANA said.

Syrian authorities blamed the violent acts during the almost five-month-old unrest on armed thugs and ultraconservative Muslims who want to establish Islamic emirates nationwide and pledged that there would be no letup in its crackdown on those gunmen to restore stability and security to the country.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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