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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Five die as Syria thwarts attack
Four gunmen and a security guard have been killed in clashes between suspected militants and security forces in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Officials said a "terrorist" attack on a building near the offices of Syrian state TV and radio had been halted.

Four militants were also arrested and were being interrogated. It was not clear why the building was a target.

Several international hotels, government buildings and the city university are located in the area.

"The security force dealt effectively with the group as shown from the number of casualties among its members," Fayez al-Sayegh, head of Syrian radio and television, told Reuters news agency.

Two years ago, gunmen clashed with security forces in the same location, close to Umayyad Square, after they again appeared to be targeting an empty building.

Syrian forces have clashed with Islamic militants a number of times in recent months, but official statements regarding Friday's incident have so far not made any references to Islamist groups.

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