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Syria - Aug 28, 2011 - 12:31

Last modified: 28 Aug 2011 09:31

A statement published online by the Free Officers, a group that says it represents army defectors, says "large defections" occurred in Harasta and security forces and shabiha loyal to Assad were chasing the defectors in the direction of the gardens and districts inside Damascus".

The statement said a colonel in the Air Force Intelligence, who had been in charge of raids and arrests by the secret police, was hit by a bullet in his head in the nearby suburb of Saqba.