Syria's Assad - AP - April 16, 2011
In this image from Syrian state television President Bashar Assad makes a speech in front of his cabinet in Damascus, Syria Saturday April 16, 2011. Photo by AP
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Syrian President Bashar Assad said Wednesday that the country's security forces have made mistakes during the uprising against his regime and that thousands of police officers are receiving new training.

Assad's comments were carried by the private Al-Watan daily on Wednesday. They came as a human rights activist said Syrian troops have used heavy machine-guns to strike a neighborhood in the central city of Homs.

Mustafa Osso said the bombing of Bab Amr district took place early Wednesday.

Syria's top rights organization has said that the crackdown by Assad has killed more than 850 people since the protests erupted in mid-March.

The latest place to see a harsh crackdown on dissent is the western town of Talkalakh. Activists say 27 people have been killed there since last week.