Monday Jan 30, 201205:19 PM GMT
Syria army takes back Damascus burbs
Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:18PM
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Syrain army troops (File Photo)
Syrian troops have regained control of some suburbs in the capital, Damascus, which were held by terrorist groups, reports say.

The Syrian army on Monday retook control of the eastern suburbs of Damascus, including Kfar Batna, Saqba, Jisreen, and Arbeen, days after terrorist groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attacked the area and took up positions there.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, dozens of civilians were injured during the exchange of fire between Syrian troops and terrorists.

A spokesman for the anti-government forces of the terrorist ''Free Syrian Army'' confirmed the withdrawal of the terrorists from the Damascus suburbs.

Activists say armed groups had come as close as 8 km to Damascus and that they were launching attacks on government troops.

Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Ministry has announced that it has invited Syrian officials and the opposition to meet for talks in Moscow, and that the Syrian authorities have agreed to negotiations.

The Syrian National Council, however, has said that it will not join the talks aimed at ending months of unrest in the country.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March. Many people have lost their lives in the country over the past 10 months. Damascus says over 2,000 security forces have been killed in the unrest.

The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters. But Damascus blames ''outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups'' for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

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