Senior Syrian official announces his resignation
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The Attorney General of the province of Hama said he had resigned in protest at hundreds of killings and thousands of arrests by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, as nationwide demonstrations showed no sign of a let-up. Mohammed Adnan al-Bakkour, announced his resignation in a video posted on YouTube.
In his video statement, Bakkour says he resigned after discovering 72 prisoners, includint peaceful activists, in Hama's central prison were killed on 31 July.
He said he was forced to issue a report saying that more than 420 people buried in mass graves by security forces and regime militias had been killed by armed gangs.
Bakkour also cited the deaths of about 320 people under torture at police stations, the arbitrary arrest of about 10,000 people, and the demolition of homes by the army while occupants were still inside.
However, the official SANA news agency reported Monday that Bakkour had been kidnapped en route to work with his driver and bodyguard.
The agency quoted officials as saying Bakkour's statement had been made under duress.
The United Nations meanwhile says that more than 2,200 people have been killed since the beginning of near-daily popular protests against Assad's regime in mid-March.