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Syrian government battling Al Qaeda: Minister

Dubai, Nov 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Pro−government troops in Syria are waging a war with well−armed groups of Al Qaeda militants, Syrian Information Minister Omran al−Zoebi said Monday.

"At present, the government and its supporters in Syria have to resist Al Qaeda and the Qatar coalition (the recently formed Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces), representing the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria which seeks to reinstate their presence in the Syrian history," the official SANA news agency quoted al−Zoebi as saying.

The Muslim Brotherhood of Syria was banned by the secular Baath Party in 1963.

In 1982, thousands were killed in a failed uprising by the Brotherhood against then president Hafez al−Assad, the father of incumbent Syrian leader Bashar al−Assad.

The Assad regime has been locked in a bloody conflict with anti−government forces since March 2011. According to UN estimates, at least 30,000 people have been killed since the violence began.

−−IANS/RIA Novosti

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