Arab League chief says snipers still present in Syrian cities
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said Monday that the military had withdrawn from several Syrian cities, while admitting that there were still gun attacks in the country, dpa reported.
"Military forces have withdrawn from many cities," al-Arabi told a press conference in Cairo. "But there is still shooting and there are snipers. We hope all these manifestations will end."
Al-Arabi said however that the Arab observers who arrived in the country last week had managed to help provide food to people in the flashpoint city of Homs.
The observers had also managed to remove corpses from the city, al-Arabi said.
Last week, the Arab League dispatched around 60 observers to Syria, to check if the government was complying with a plan to end 10 months of deadly violence.
An advance team of observers, led by the organization's assistant head Saif al-Yazal, returned to Cairo late Sunday after touring some hotspots in Syria, leaving behind other colleagues.
More than 40 other observers are to head to Syria next week, amid protests from the Syrian opposition that the mission is doing little to halt the government's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.
By United Nations estimates, more than 5,000 people have been killed in the Syrian government's clampdown against protesters demanding the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.