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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 April, 2004, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Life back to normal, says Syrian TV
Former UN building in Damascus
A car bomb caused extensive damage

Syrian TV broadcast a report on Wednesday morning saying life had returned to normal in the capital after four people were reportedly killed in a clash between Syrian police and a team of bombers.

The state-controlled TV's "The World This Morning" programme described the attackers as a "terrorist group", saying two of them had been killed and two captured.

The following is the full text of the report:

Life returned to normal in the area of Al-Mazzah in Damascus, as did the movement of traffic and pedestrians, after the specialised agencies managed to seal off the area targeted by a terrorist sabotage group and managed to kill two of the attackers and arrest the other two, following an exchange of fire with them in the area.

The sons of Damascus took to the streets to condemn this cowardly criminal act

The speed at which the specialised agencies managed to control the situation was greeted by the Syrian public with satisfaction, especially since the operation took less than one hour.

Investigations conducted by the specialised agencies uncovered a hideout in the area of Khan al-Shih, where the terrorist group hid its weapons.

The agencies broke into the hideout and confiscated a quantity of weapons and explosives there. Security and legal measures are under way to reveal the circumstances behind this condemned terrorist act.

After the situation was brought under control, hundreds of the sons of Damascus took to the streets, in cars and on foot, in a spontaneous demonstration to condemn this cowardly criminal act and express gratitude to the competent agencies, who performed their duty in an exemplary manner.

Syria's official news agency, Sana, carried a statement by an official interior ministry source on the attack:

The Syrian Arab Republic, which has faced terrorism in all its forms for more than a quarter of a century, condemns this terrorist incident, which is aimed at destabilising the country and threatening the security of the citizens and the homeland.

Syria underlines its firm position of confronting every terrorist act seeking to harm stability and security and spread chaos.

This dictates that all ordinary, extraordinary and necessary measures be taken to confront such incidents, with a view towards safeguarding the security of the citizens and the homeland and maintaining the stability that Syria has enjoyed for long.

A policeman was martyred while performing his duty. A woman who happened to be at the scene was also martyred.

On this occasion, the unrest and chaos the region is witnessing in the security and political fields creates the appropriate climate for such condemned criminal acts, which threaten security and stability in all the countries of the region.

Security and judicial investigations are continuing to discover the circumstances of this condemned terrorist act.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

'Five dead' in new Syria clashes
17 Mar 04  |  Middle East
Country profile: Syria
10 Feb 04  |  Country profiles
Syrian police clash with bombers
28 Apr 04  |  Middle East

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