DAMASCUS, Syria, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Syria's attorney general announced in a video statement posted on the Internet he was resigning after witnessing a mass execution of 72 prisoners.
In the video posted Wednesday, the man presumed to be Adnan Bakkour, Syria's top legal official, said he was resigning because of President Bashar Assad's regime "and his gangs," the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.
The state-run news agency reported Monday rebel gunmen kidnapped Bakkour as he was traveling to Hama for work.
However, the government-backed Syrian Arab News Agency quoted a government official as saying Bakkour's statements broadcast by the al-Jazeera satellite channel and elsewhere were false.
The official accused al-Jazeera of spreading lies perpetrated by the terrorists who kidnapped the attorney general and forced him to make the false statements at gunpoint.
SANA reported the official as saying al-Jazeera "started to adopt this style with the aim of undermining the sovereignty of Syria and its people."
In the video, Bakkour said he witnessed 72 prisoners at Hama's central prison executed July 31, the Telegraph said.
He also said 420 bodies were buried in mass graves in public parks,10,000 peaceful protesters are being held in prisons and 320 prisoners died after being tortured.
Bakkour charged Assad forces buried people alive by destroying homes in Hama with people inside.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Wednesday said 473 Syrians were killed in anti-government protests during the just-ended Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Human rights groups said more than 2,200 Syrians have been killed since Assad began his brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in March.
Meanwhile, government troops raided homes in Homs, Hama and Houla, making arrests as they surged for protesters seeking Assad's ouster, the Telegraph reported. Government troops were reportedly threatening to arrest relatives of activists unless they surrendered.