Syrian army raids Lebanese village, kills farmer

Syrian army raids Lebanese village, kills farmer
# 06 October 2011 21:14 (UTC +04:00)
"A Syrian army unit infiltrated into the outskirts of Arsal and killed Lebanese farmer Ali al-Khatib," Future Television reported.

Some 5,000 Syrians, among them army defectors, have reportedly sought refuge in northern and eastern Lebanon since the start of the Syrian government crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

Meanwhile, Syrian state-run news agency SANA reported Thursday that authorities had seized a car in the central town of Homs packed with weapons, drugs, and torture tools.

Three "armed terrorist members" were arrested and a site used for kidnapping and torturing "innocent people" was also discovered, added the news agency.

As part of his promised reforms in the troubled country, President Bashar al-Assad issued Thursday a decree setting December 12 as the date for countrywide municipal elections. The last such elections were held in Syria in August 2007.

Al-Assad’s government has blamed what it terms armed terrorist groups allegedly sponsored by foreign powers for the unrest in the country.

On Thursday, at least 12 people were killed and more than 20 injured in clashes between government troops and army defectors in the northern province of Idlib, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Defectors from the Syrian army recently vowed to protect peaceful protesters from the "thugs and informers" of the government.

In the southern province of Daraa, a funeral for a 17-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered two weeks back in clashes with security forces, turned into a mass demonstration of 15,000 people calling for the al-Assad’s ouster, added the observatory group.