Arab League halts observer mission as Syrian violence continues
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's interior minister is vowing to "clean Syria's soil" of outlaws.
State media reports the minister made the comments to families of security forces killed in the crackdown against government opponents.
Battles between government forces and army defectors continued across the country today, with at least 20 people reported killed in the clashes and other violence. The deaths come after two days of bloody turmoil that killed at least 74 people, including small children.
The escalating bloodshed has prompted the Arab League to halt the work of its observer team. The mission been criticized for failing to bring a halt to the regime's crackdown on the 10-month old uprising.
In a statement today, the League's secretary-general blames Damascus for the latest spike in violence, saying the Assad regime has "resorted to escalating the military option in complete violation" of its commitments to end the crackdown. He adds that the victims of the violence have been "innocent citizens."
183-v-27-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)--The Arab League is calling off its observers mission in Syria. More from AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo. (28 Jan 2012)
<<CUT *183 (01/28/12)>> 00:27
184-c-12-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)-"last two days"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo reports the Arab League is stopping its observers mission in Syria. (28 Jan 2012)
<<CUT *184 (01/28/12)>> 00:12 "last two days"
185-c-14-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)-"sanctions against Syria"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo reports the Arab League is calling off its observers mission in Syria. (28 Jan 2012)
<<CUT *185 (01/28/12)>> 00:14 "sanctions against Syria"
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