Army says "restored security" in Syria's northern town
A military source said Tuesday that security has returned to the violence-hit town of Jisr al- Shughour in north Syria and the residents are gradually returning to their homes, Xinhua quoted the official news agency SANA as reporting.
The army is still hunting down remnants of the armed groups in the mountains and forests surrounding Jisr al-Shughour, said the source.
SANA said Sunday that Jisr al-Shughour was under full control of the Syrian army, adding that one soldier was killed and four others wounded during confrontations with gunmen in the city.
The Syrian TV on Monday showed photos of a mass grave, which was uncovered by the army, containing the remains of 12 policemen and security agents allegedly killed by "armed terrorist groups" in the same area.
The photos showed mutilated bodies, most of them decapitated by machetes and with marks of wounds from gunshots.
The TV also broadcasted confessions by a member of the armed groups Anwar Al-Doush, who gave full details about the events of what the TV described as a "criminal massacre" committed against the police forces.
The private Al-Watan newspaper said earlier the army reseized Jisr al-Shughour after a "very delicate" operation and reported no casualties among civilians. It said the army arrested a big number of gunmen while others fled towards the Turkish borders to join their families there.
Residents welcomed the deployment of the army in the area and showered them with rice and flowers upon their arrival, the paper said.
Jisr al-Shughour has witnessed the fiercest clashes in the Syria since the eruption of protests in mid March.