1 Jan 2012

Snipers encountered by Arab League

2:22 pm on 1 January 2012

Arab League observers in Syria are reported to have told the government to get its snipers off rooftops.

Footage posted online appears to show one official saying he had seen government snipers on rooftops and calling for them to be withdrawn.

The man is filmed telling protesters: ''You're telling me there are snipers? You don't have to tell me, I saw them with my own eyes.''

In a separate report, the German news agency DPA also quoted a source close to the mission saying observers also saw snipers in Douma, a suburb of the capital Damascus.

However in a BBC interview, General Mustafa al-Dabi of Sudan, the head of the Arab League mission, later denied that the official had seen the snipers.

It is the fifth day of the Arab League mission to Syria and the violence is continuing unabated. At least 35 people were reportedly killed on Friday.

Deal reported

Two leading Syrian opposition parties have reportedly agreed on a path to democracy if mass protests succeed in toppling President Bashar al-Assad.

Reuters reports it it has seen a document showing a deal struck between the Syrian National Council and the largely Syrian-based National Coordination Committee.

It is to be presented to other opposition groups at a conference next month.