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Archive for Saturday, June 3, 2006

Police battle Islamic militants in Damascus

June 3, 2006

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— Syrian anti-terrorism police fought Islamic militants near the Defense Ministry on Friday in a gunbattle that killed five people and wounded four, the government said.

The shootout came after the police heard an "extremist terrorist unit" was in the area and engaged it, the Interior Ministry said. One police officer was killed and two were wounded, it said.

The director-general of state broadcasting, Fayez Sayegh, said police killed four militants and detained six, two of them wounded.

The Interior Ministry said the captured militants were being interrogated about their motives.

The gunbattle was near Omayyad Square, which is home to the Defense Ministry, the headquarters of state radio and television, the Ministry of Higher Education and the Customs Department.

The government did not name the militant group or give their suspected motives. But the official Syrian Arab News Agency said all 10 militants were members of a "takfiri" group.

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