AMMAN - Syrian authorities on Monday blamed Islamist militants for the massacre of 108 men, women and children in the town of Houla and denied UN and witness accounts that army tanks were in the area at the time.
In a letter to the UN Security Council published by state media, the Foreign Ministry said the Syrian army was "in a state of self defense (against) armed terrorist groups" comprised of hundreds of armed men who it said committed the massacre.
The ministry said the killers used knives, which it called a "signature" of Islamist militant attacks.
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