March 18 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama administration condemned the violence in Syria and called on the government there to let peaceful demonstrations take place.
“The United States stands for a set of universal rights, including the freedom of expression and assembly, and believes that governments, including the Syrian government, must address the legitimate aspirations of their people,” Tommy Vietor, spokesman for President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, said today in an e-mailed statement.
Four protesters were killed and hundreds injured by Syrian security forces in the southern town of Daraa, the news agency Agence France-Presse reported, citing a human rights activist who is in the town.
The state news agency Sana reported today that “infiltrators” from the gathering had attacked security forces in the town and then dispersed. The agency did not mention any casualties. The agency also reported demonstrations in the northern town of Baniyas. Al Jazeera television reported protests in the cities of Tartus and Aleppo.
--With assistance from Riad Hamade in Dubai. Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Leslie Hoffecker
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