BEIRUT ( AP) — Syrian authorities have released more than 500 prisoners accused of involvement in anti-regime activities, state TV reported today, in what appeared to be another gesture to comply with the Arab League plan to end the regime’s 9-month-old crackdown on dissent.

The plan, being monitored by about 100 Arab League observers now in Syria, requires President Bashar Assad’s regime to remove security forces and heavy weapons from cities, start talks with opposition leaders and free political prisoners. The league claims it has won some concessions from Syria, including the pullout of heavy military weaponry from cities and the release of thousands of prisoners.

However, Syria’s opposition is accusing the regime of misleading the monitors by taking them to areas loyal to the government, changing street signs to confuse them, painting army vehicles blue to look like those of police and sending supporters into rebellious neighborhoods to give false testimony.



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