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Syrian forces kill 7 as holy month ends

Syrian forces kill 7 as holy month ends

August 31st, 2011 in News

BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian security forces killed at least seven people, including a 13-year-old boy, as thousands of protesters poured out of mosques and marched through cemeteries Tuesday at the start of Eid al-Fitr, a holiday when pious Muslims traditionally visit graves and pray for the dead.

The three-day holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of introspection many protesters had hoped would become a turning point in the 5-month-old uprising. Instead, the government crackdown on dissent intensified and the conflict has become a bloody stalemate.

"They can shoot and kill as much as they want, we will not stop calling for regime change," an activist in Daraa told the Associated Press by telephone, asking for anonymity out of fear of reprisals.

In Washington, the Obama administration announced a new set of sanctions on Syria. The regulations ban Americans from doing business with President Bashar Assad's foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, and two other senior officials, senior adviser Buthaina Shaaban; and Ali Abdul Karim Ali, Syria's ambassador to Lebanon. The Treasury Department's action Tuesday also blocks any assets the Syrian officials may have in the United States.