29 Dec 2011

Syria unrest continues as monitors visit more cities

9:17 pm on 29 December 2011

Violence is continuing in Syria despite the presence of the Arab League monitoring mission in the country.

Activists say more than 10 people have been killed in the anti-government flashpoints of Homs, Deraa and Idlib.

A video posted on the internet shows a crowd of angry mourners laying the lifeless body of a child on the bonnet of a white vehicle apparently belonging to the Arab observers.

The BBC reports that the activists also say they are having trouble gaining access to the Arab League observers.

The team's head caused controversy by saying he had seen "nothing frightening", after visiting Homs - a focal point of the unrest.

Sudanese General Mustafa al-Dabi later said he needed more time to make an assessment of the city.

Activists say almost 40 people had died in the two days since the monitors arrived.

Casualty figures and other information are hard to verify from Syria as most foreign media are banned from reporting.

Hundreds of people set for release

Syrian television says 755 people detained during the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, are to be released.

State TV did not mention where the protesters were arrested or detained.

A similar announcement was made in November, when the government said it had freed 1180 prisoners.