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Friday, April 29, 2011

Syrian army units fire on each other as soldiers refuse to attack Friday prayers protesters - 29th Apr 2011

Army units in Syria have clashed with each other over President Bashar Assad's orders to crack down on protesters.

Witnesses described army divisions refusing to shoot at protesters and then coming under fire themselves from other soldiers for disobeying orders.

The clashes were said to have occurred between the 4th Division, led by Assad's brother Maher, and the reservist 5th Division.

More than 450 people have been killed across the country - with 100 in protest centre Daraa alone - and hundreds detained since anti-government protests began last month.

It is the latest sign of cracks in the Assad regime after 200 mostly low-level members of the ruling Ba'ath Party resigned over the level of violence.

Ausama Monajed, a spokesman for a group of opposition figures in the country, said clashes among soldiers have been taking place since Monday.

He said: 'There are some battalions that refused to open fire on the people.

'Battalions of the 5th Division were protecting people, and returned fire when they were subjected to attacks by the 4th Division.' Read More