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UN Says Syria Hasn't Let It Into Protest City Of Daraa

May 10, 2011

The United Nations says Syria has blocked assess to the southern city of Daraa, site of bloody antigovernment protests.

The UN wants to send teams into Darra and other protest cities to assess the situation.

A UN spokesman, Farhan Haq, said the UN is seeking clarification from the government of President Bashar al-Assad, who reportedly agreed to such a mission last week with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Meanwhile, Syrian forces have tightened their gripped on the city of Homs, reportedly positioning snipers on buildings and rounding up hundreds more activists.

At least 800 civilians are believed to have been killed since unrest broke out in Syria in March.

In Brussels, the European Union today published a list of 13 Syrian officials against whom it has issued sanctions.

President Bashar al-Assad is not included, but one of his brothers tops the list.

The EU said Maher al-Assad, who commands a Syrian Army division, has been "the principal overseer of violence against demonstrators."

The list was published today in the EU's official journal as the sanctions came into force.

All 13 men are now prevented from traveling to the EU and any funds they may have in the bloc will now be frozen.

On May 9, EU member states also agreed to enforce an embargo on the export of weapons to Syria.

compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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