June 27th, 2011
08:45 AM ET

Syrian general: Hundreds of soldiers, police killed by armed gangs

Damascus, Syria (CNN) - Syria's military spokesman says more than 400 members of security forces have been killed in the months-long unrest that has taken hold in the country, a charge that came as videos surfaced allegedly showing children killed in the violence.

In an interview with CNN in Damascus, Maj. Gen. Riad Haddad said that 1,300 security personnel also were wounded, and that 300 soldiers, 60 security officials and 50 police died in the violence.

He also has said 700 people, whom he described as terrorists, and their families had fled Syrian authorities for Turkey.

Haddad offered no details about the killings of the security forces other than to blame the deaths on armed gangs. CNN cannot independently verify the claim.

President Bashar al-Assad has faced growing criticism from leaders in the United States, Europe and elsewhere over his government's violent clampdown on demonstrators. Al-Assad has repeatedly blamed "armed gangs" in explaining its military crackdowns, which have pushed thousands of Syrians to flee to Turkey.

Security sources in Lebanon told CNN that about 1,000 Syrians have crossed into Lebanon near the town of Hermel.

Months of protests have left more than 1,100 dead, according to human rights activists. But the extent of the carnage is not clear. About 10,000 people have been jailed since mid-March when the protests began, said Rami Abdelrahman, head of the London-based Syria Observatory for Human Rights.

CNN cannot independently verify the claims of the activist or the human rights group.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Kal

    Torture is something that's been going on for decades and the world does nothing about it. It's a shame that the civilized world can sit back and watch these barbarians torture and kill their people like they do. Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase Arab league, EU, US, help the Syrian people get rid of these criminals who call themselves a government.

    June 27, 2011 at 10:36 pm |