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Arab League: Syria 'Killings Continue'

But chief praises progress, says tanks have been pulled from cities
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 2, 2012 10:07 AM CST

(Newser) – Syria's government has withdrawn heavy weapons from inside cities and freed about 3,500 prisoners, but security forces continue to kill protesters even with foreign monitors in the country, the Arab League chief said today. Nabil Elaraby said pro-regime snipers also continue to operate in Syria. But despite the regime's ongoing crackdown, he listed the achievements of the Arab League monitors. "Yes, there is still shooting and yes there are still snipers," Elaraby said. But "there must be a complete cease-fire."

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But Elaraby also said tanks and artillery have been pulled from cities and residential neighborhoods, food supplies have reached residents, and bodies of dead protesters have been recovered. Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the British-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed that tanks had withdrawn from Syrian cities. But he said residents reported that the weapons were still a threat. "They can bring the tanks back and use them to fight," Abdul-Rahman said. (Read more Syria stories.)

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