Syria declares success against terrorism

May 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria, May 18 (UPI) -- After the United Nations said there was evidence al-Qaida was at work in Syria, the country's interior minister said strides were made in combating terrorism.

Conflict in Syria is entering its second year. Damascus agreed to the terms of a peace plan brokered by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, though there's little concrete evidence the violence is subsiding.

More than 50 people died and as many as 370 were wounded in dual suicide attacks in Damascus last week. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was quoted by the BBC as saying he believed the "must" be al-Qaida at work inside Syria.

Syrian Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Mohammed al-Shaar said there was "great success" against terrorism in the country.

Human Rights Watch, in a 38-page report published in early May, blamed Syrian forces for the deaths of at least 95 citizens in late March and early April. It said that evidence from field investigations suggested government forces summarily executed 35 civilians during that period.

Violence has apparently spilled into northern Lebanon.

The United Nations estimates more than 9,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in May 2010.

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