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Syria crisis: Military police chief al-Shalal defects

26 December 2012 Last updated at 22:42 GMT

The commander of Syria's military police has defected from President Bashar-al Assad's government and reportedly fled to Turkey.

Lt Gen Abulaziz al-Shalal is one of the highest-ranking officials to join the uprising against the Syrian regime.

In a statement, the officer said the army had "destroyed cities and villages, and has committed massacres against an unarmed population".

Fergal Keane reports.