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Syria: Hama gov. confessed at gunpoint

DAMASCUS, Syria, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- The governor of Hama was forced to make a false video statement by gunpoint after he was kidnapped by terrorists, Syria's news agency claims.

A man claiming to be Adnan Bakkour, governor of the city of Hama, was seen in a video broadcast by al-Jazeera as resigning in protest of the crimes committed in the area by Syrian security forces.

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Bakkour spells out a long list of abuses, including the extrajudicial killing of roughly 72 prisoners in the Hama prison in July, bodies dumped in mass graves, torture and arbitrary arrests.

Syria is facing increasing international isolation in response to its brutal crackdown against anti-government protesters. According to U.N. estimates, more than 2,000 people have died at the hands of Syrian security forces, including hundreds killed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in August.

An "official source" in Hama, however, told the official Syrian Arab News Agency that Bakkour was forced into making a false confession at gunpoint. He was kidnapped by armed terrorists three days ago, SANA adds.

The source said the confession was part of a "dirty game" by al-Jazeera, which is trying to mislead the public about events unfolding in Syria.

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Syria maintains its dealing with an armed insurgency.

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