DAMASCUS, Syria, May 3 (UPI) -- Syria has given anti-government protesters who committed "unlawful acts such as bearing arms" until May 15 to surrender, the Interior Ministry said.
People "who have participated in or committed unlawful acts such as bearing arms, attacking security or spreading lies" were told to surrender and hand in weapons to authorities by May 15, al-Arabiya said quoting a statement released Tuesday by Syria's Interior Ministry.
The ministry also called on citizens to supply information about "saboteurs, terrorists and arms caches," the network said.
Sana, the state run news agency said Syrian security forces in Daraa on Tuesday searched for "armed terror groups" that they said were responsible for "killings, terror and destruction" in the city.
The agency said authorities have confiscated large quantities of weapons and ammunition found buried in different parts of the city.
Protesters have denied officials' claims they are armed saying they are inspired by revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, al-Arabiya said
More than 560 people have been killed in anti-regime protests throughout the country in the past seven weeks.
Prominent campaigners along with scores of protesters were arrested in Qamishli, Raqqa and Damascus this week, the network said.
The television report said signs of discontent have emerged among Sunni Muslims serving in the army commanded by officers from the minority Alawite sect to which President Bashar Assad and his family belong.
Since the weekend approximately 233 members of the country's ruling Baath Party have resigned in protest of the security forces' treatment of protesters, Ahram Online said.