Middle East News
Syrian state TV airs "confessions" alleging Lebanese help in unrest
Apr 13, 2011, 14:50 GMT
Damascus/Beirut - Syrian television aired Wednesday confessions from detainees saying they received money and arms from Lebanon to ignite protests and destabilize the country.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and state media have repeatedly blamed conspirators for the deadly unrest surrounding anti-government protests which broke out in Syria on March 15.
Anas al-Kanj, 29, said on TV he was the head of an 'armed terrorist group' and said he received arms and money from Lebanese parliamentarian Jamal Jarrah, who belongs to the Future Current Movement led by former premier Saad Hariri.
He added that he did not receive the funds directly from Jarrah but rather through a man named Ahmad al-Uda, who is a member of Syria's banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Kanj said he was instructed to recruit people to protest outside the Ummayad Mosque in Damascus as well as in the cities of Daraa, Latakia and Banias.
Meanwhile the state-run Syrian Al-Thawra newspaper said that Kanj was instructed 'to open fire on protesters' in a bid to make people believe the country's security forces were killing demonstrators.
Syrian television also showed footage of weapons which it said had been seized.
In Beirut, Jarrah denied the Syrian accusations and said the Future Current movement 'have neither the desire nor the capacity or means to interfere in Syrian affairs or destabilize the country.'
Meanwhile, Syrian security forces reportedly closed down and the University of Aleppo in northern Syria, where students launched an anti-government demonstration.
Several students were beaten and arrested, according the online activist group named 'The Syrian Revolution 2011' on Facebook.
Women in the cities of Daraa and Banias took to the streets to demonstrate against violent crackdowns by security forces which have left dozens of protesters dead in recent weeks, according to the opposition group Reform Party of Syria.
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