WORLD

Syria signs Arab League deal to allow in monitors

DAMASCUS – Syria has signed an agreement to allow observers to monitor its implementation of an Arab League initiative to end the crackdown on anti-government protests, the BBC reported.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said the deal had been signed at the Arab League’s headquarters in Cairo. He said the Arab League had accepted amendments demanded by Damascus. At a news conference in Damascus, Muallem said the Syrian government had agreed to the Arab League’s peace initiative because it wanted a “political solution to [the] crisis in order to emerge from it in the best way possible”. He added that he was confident that the observers would support the Syrian government’s assertion that foreign-backed extremists and armed criminal gangs were stirring up trouble and targeting security personnel.

The Arab League had threatened to ask the UN Security Council to adopt its peace plan to end the crackdown, which has left more than 5,000 people dead. Human rights activists said security forces had killed at least six civilians on Monday. Three were shot dead during clashes between troops and army defectors, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The other three deaths were reported in the southern province of Deraa. At least 15 civilians and six soldiers were killed on Sunday, activists said.

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