Several people have been killed in Syria's central city of Homs, where security forces carried out raids that resulted in more than 140 arrests.
A state media report says the arrests took place Tuesday as authorities pursued "armed terrorist groups" in several neighborhoods, flashpoints for nationwide protests against President Bashar al-Assad.
The report says several "gunmen" were killed in the operation and the authorities confiscated a large amount of firearms and explosives. The Associated Press quotes an activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as saying security forces killed four people.
For months, anti-government protesters have been calling for Mr. Assad's departure. The United Nations human rights office says more than 2,900 people have been killed during the government's crackdown on the protests.
On Monday, Syria's top Sunni Muslim cleric warned Western powers against military intervention.
Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun threatened to retaliate with suicide bombings in the United States and Europe if his country comes under attack.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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