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3 Killed in Syrian Anti-Insurgent Raid

From Associated Press

Syrian forces raided a suspected insurgent hide-out near the capital, killing two men, arresting a third and foiling bombing plots that targeted the nation’s Justice Palace, the country’s official news agency said.

A member of Syria’s security forces was killed and another was wounded in the clash Thursday in the Daff al-Shouk suburb of Damascus, according to a report late Friday by the SANA news agency.

The group’s leader, identified as Abu Omar, and an accomplice were killed and another suspect was arrested, SANA said. Identity cards were found next to the bodies bearing the names Omar Barakat and Arfan Yassin, both Syrian. It was not clear whether the cards belonged to the dead men.

State-run TV showed footage from the scene of the confrontation. The bloodied bodies of two men lay on the apartment floor, one partially covered by a blanket. Machine guns, pistols, jihadist documents and mobile phones were scattered about.

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A picture on a Saudi driver’s license apparently belonging to Yassin showed a bespectacled man with a black, bushy beard. Next to it lay U.S. dollars and Syrian pounds.

One document reportedly described the group’s hierarchy, including emirs in charge of fighters, explosives, missiles and military training. Another said the group’s holy war should start with countries in the region ruled by “despotic regimes,” naming Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

Attention then should be directed to “dictators” in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq, whose “people have been afflicted with the Crusaders,” the document said.

SANA said security forces received information several months ago that the group was planning bombings. The government began surveillance of the group after receiving the tips. A bomb was discovered and detonated on the road between Damascus and Zabadani.

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