Syrian TV: Assad decrees amnesty for criminals

FILE - Night falls on a Syrian rebel-controlled area of Aleppo, Nov. 29, 2012, as destroyed buildings, including Dar Al-Shifa hospital, are seen on Sa'ar street after airstrikes targeted the area a week before. This image was one in a series of 20 by AP photographers that won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Photography. (AP Photo/Narciso Contreras, File)

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's state-run TV says President Bashar Assad has pardoned an unspecified number of criminals ahead of the country's national holiday.

The report says prisoners convicted of criminal acts before April 16 will be included in the amnesty, which was announced in a presidential decree on Tuesday. The TV didn't provide more details.

Assad has issued several pardons, including for those convicted of acts against the state, during the two-year crisis, usually ahead of national holidays.

The latest decree comes on the eve of the anniversary of the 1946 withdrawal of French troops from Syria that marked the end of France's mandate of the Arab country.

Syria's uprising began in March 2011 and has since turned into a civil war that has killed over 70,000 people, according to the U.N.