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Syrian city bans face coverings to fight crime, terror

The local council in Azaz has prohibited civilians and armed forces from wearing masks and other face coverings in an attempt to make it harder to evade identification when committing a crime.
Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army fighter holds a weapon in the town of Tadef in Aleppo Governorate, Syria February 12, 2018. Picture taken February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi - RC1182F48C20
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ALEPPO, Syria — Officials in Azaz, Aleppo province, recently announced a new policy designed to counter rising crime. Said Akach, media director of Azaz's local council, told Al-Monitor, “We made the decision to ban wearing masks for security reasons, because of the increasing security incidents, assassinations, crimes and thefts, not to mention car explosions, bombings and motorcycle explosions, that are targeting residential neighborhoods, crowded markets in Azaz and villages in the countryside.”

Akach further explained that the rule applies to military personnel, civilians, civil and military police, and customs and security forces in the city. The council also ordered surveillance cameras installed in official districts and on most main streets.

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