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All of Damascus now under army control, general says

The Syrian army now has the whole of the capital under its control, a brigadier-general on Saturday told journalists visiting the neighborhood of Tadamon, the scene of heavy fighting earlier.

"We have cleansed all the districts of Damascus, from Al-Midan to Mazzeh, from Al-Hajar Al-Aswad to Qadam... to Tadamon," said the general who led the military operation in Tadamon, refusing to give his name.

The officer said regime forces retook the southern district at 2:00 pm (1100 GMT) on Saturday, and that it was the last rebel bastion in the city to revert to army hands.

Fighting erupted in Damascus on July 15 and raged for several days as rebels seized several districts, forcing thousands of residents to flee for safety from what had for many months been the country's safest city.

"The situation in Damascus is excellent and stable," the general said.

"There is no more presence of armed groups apart for some individuals who are moving from one place to another, just to prove that they exist."

When clashes erupted earlier on Saturday in Tadamon, the scene of heavy fighting a fortnight ago, Syrian state television said: "The special forces were cleansing the district of Tadamon from terrorists."

-NOW Lebanon

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