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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syrian opposition calls new day of mass protest

RIA Novosti

11:46 10/05/2011 MOSCOW, May 10 (RIA Novosti) - Opposition activists in Syria called on Tuesday for mass protests across the country as a government crackdown on dissent continues.

Hundreds of protestors were arrested by security forces in house-to-house raids on Monday in the central city of Homs, the coastal town of Baniya, the capital Damascus, and the southern city of Deraa, al-Jazeera television reported.

A Syrian human rights group, Sawasiah, says more than 800 people have been killed since pro-democracy protests against the repressive rule of President Bashar al-Assad began in mid-March.

A European Union arms embargo on Syria came into force on Monday. The bloc also imposed a travel ban on 13 Syrian government officials and froze their assets in the EU.

The UN expressed concern on Monday that its humanitarian mission had not been granted access to Deraa, which has been a focal point of the unrest.

Water, communications and power in Deraa have been cut off for the past two weeks.

"The humanitarian assessment mission has not been able to get into Deraa," spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters. "We're trying to clarify why it hasn't had access, and we're also trying to get access to other areas of Syria."

The mission was delivering medical supplies to refugees.

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