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Syria Fires on Thousands of Protesters; 10 Dead

Wave of arrests follows West's calls for Assad to step down
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2011 6:48 AM CDT
Updated Aug 19, 2011 11:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Despite their president’s claim that military operations are over, Syrian security forces have shot at thousands of protesters across the country, killing at least 10 today following two deaths last night. The first attacks came hours after Barack Obama called for President Bashar Assad to step down, the AP reports. Troops and tanks were deployed today as protests took place in the cities of Damascus, Homs, and Latakia, among many others countrywide; the killings were reported in several villages.

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State TV said a policeman had been shot and killed in a Damascus suburb, while four other policemen were wounded. Meanwhile, protesters posted an online video which appears to show security forces beating detainees in a bus while demanding they chant, “Our souls, our blood we sacrifice for you, Bashar.” With some 1,800 reported dead in the violence since March, a UN committee has called for the case to be placed before the International Criminal Court. (Read more Syria stories.)

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