Pictures of ammunition seized from the terror cell in May 19, 2011, published by SANA
Source: Press TV
Syrian security forces say they have arrested a terrorist cell near the capital Damascus, amid a rise in anti-government protests in the Arab country.
The terror group, which was armed with heavy weapons and explosives, was captured in the city of al-Dumair -- home to a major airbase in the country -- two days ago, Syria's Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
According to initial confessions of the terrorist cell members, aired on state television on Friday, the group was planning to attack the main military bases as well as economic and government facilities in Syria.
The detainees alleged that they had smuggled ammunition into the country from neighboring Lebanon and hid them in towns close to the capital.
One of the suspects said the group was recruiting members in rural areas, urging people to protest and vandalize public property.
Damascus says Saudi Arabia and Sa'ad Hariri, Lebanon's former prime minister and the leader of al-Mustaqbal (Future) Movement, are financing armed gangs in Syria.
Syria has been witnessing violent pro-reform protests since mid-March.
Scores of people, including several security forces and soldiers, have been killed during the turmoil.
While the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings, Syrian authorities blame armed groups and foreign elements for the violence, saying security forces have been given clear instructions not to hurt civilians.
Damascus had previously announced the arrest of members of armed terrorist groups, saying that they had also confessed to receiving weapons and money from foreign organizations to kill civilians and security forces in a bid to cause chaos in the country.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to bring those behind the killings to justice.