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Syria - Dec 12, 2011 - 09:31

Last modified: 12 Dec 2011 06:31

Syrian army defectors, who operate under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, say that a senior army officer was killed yesterday after refusing to fire on civilians in Homs.

Maher al-Nueimi, a spokesman for the FSA, said that Brigadier-General Salman al-Awaja was given instructions to fire on residents of al-Quseir in Homs. When he refused, Nueimi said, he was killed. The FSA says that a large number of defections took place after the killing, as clashes broke out between al-Awaja's supporters in the army and the other soldiers who killed him.

The FSA says that it received its information from soldiers who had recently abandoned the Syrian army, and that it was not involved in the incident.