SYRIA- President Bashar al-Assad said the current crisis in Syria would be overcome, vowing to continue the process of administrative, political and media reforms, local newspaper reported Monday.
President al-Assad made the remarks during a meeting held Sunday with a 26- member delegation from the Mediterranean city of Latakia which included clergymen, intellectuals and ordinary people.
According to al-Watan newspaper, President al-Assad's talks with the delegation focused on various issues, mainly administrative corruption.
"President Assad has asked us to submit all what we have frankly, without red lines and with transparency," the paper quoted a member of the delegation as saying.
President al-Assad also underlined the importance of boosting national unity to confront the current "plot", the paper said.
Also on Monday, security forces burst into homes and took residents into custody in the Damascus suburb of Modemiyah, where there were reports of gunfire Monday, said Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Meanwhile, state media reported that 10 people were killed and three were wounded Sunday when gunmen attacked a bus in Homs, a province where clashes broke out between security forces and protesters over the weekend. The state-run Syrian news agency called the attackers an "armed terrorist group."
More than 400 people have been arrested in Banias since Saturday, Abdul-Rahman said, adding that authorities had converted the Mediterranean city's soccer stadium into a prison to house them.
"In Daraa, there have been so many arbitrary arrests in recent days that the army and security forces are using schools and the city's soccer stadium as makeshift prison facilities," said Ammar Qurabi, chairman of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria.
Syrian security forces were using soccer stadiums as makeshift prisons in at least two cities Monday after raiding homes and arresting hundreds of residents, the directors of two human rights organizations said.
Human rights organizations criticized the arrests and violence, calling on Syria's government to establish an independent commission to investigate.
"We condemn the continued use of the Syrian authorities of violence and excessive force against the citizens of Syria demonstrating peacefully," said a statement from six organizations posted on the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria's website Monday.
The statement also expressed "deep concern" for those arrested.
"We call on security forces to stop the arbitrary arrests that take place outside the law and which constitute a flagrant violation of fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Syrian Constitution of 1973," the statement said.