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UPDATE: Syria denies former defense minister defects

State TV denies earlier reports on Wednesday of former defense minister's defection

Reuters , Wednesday 4 Sep 2013

Syrian state television said on Wednesday former defense minister Ali Habib had not left the country, denying reports of his defection.

"There is no truth to what the media has reported on the travel of former defense minister Ali Habib Mahmoud outside of Syria and he is still in his home," Syrian state television quoted an official source as saying.

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