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Syria Forces Kill 18 Protesters As Assad Agrees on Reform Steps

Sunday, 11 Sep 2011 06:20 AM

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Syrian security forces killed 18 people yesterday, even as Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Arabi said President Bashar al-Assad agreed on measures to implement political changes.

Twelve protesters died in the central region of Homs, three were killed in and around Damascus, the capital, and three others were killed in the northern province of Idlib and the southern area of Daraa, Mahmoud Merhi, head of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, said today by telephone from Damascus.

More than 3,100 civilians have been killed in Syria since anti-government protests began in March, according to Merhi and Ammar Qurabi of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria. About 30,000 people have been detained and 13,000 of them are still being held, the activists estimate.

A political initiative will be presented at a Sept. 13 meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, Al Arabiya television cited el-Arabi as saying yesterday, without giving further details. Assad has blamed the protests on foreign- inspired plots, while conceding that some demonstrators have legitimate demands and pledging political changes.

Syrian activists plan to demonstrate again today as they bury a protester killed at a roadblock in Damascus yesterday, Merhi said.

The funerals of eight Syrian security and army personnel were held yesterday after they were killed by “armed terrorist groups” in Homs and the outskirts of Damascus, state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

--Editors: Digby Lidstone

To contact the reporter on this story: Maram Mazen in Khartoum at mmazen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.

© Copyright 2015 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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