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Thousands Protest in Damascus Against UN Assassination Report

24 October 2005

Thousands of Syrians took to the streets of Damascus Monday to protest a U.N. probe they said unfairly blames the government for the killing of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

Damascus says the investigation was politically motivated and denies any involvement in the assassination.

The U.N. report, issued last week, implicated Lebanese and Syrian officials in the killing. It said Syria's cooperation in the probe was limited.

In an interview with British radio on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called for international pressure against Syria.

Syria's official news agency reported President Bashar al-Assad sent a message to members of the U.N. Security Council, which is expected to consider sanctions over the killing.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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