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Tens Of Thousands Of Syrians Protest In Hama

08.07.2011 13:00

Tens of thousands of Syrians carrying olive branches have thronged the central city of Hama to shout for the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The demonstrations come a week after some 300,000 people filled the streets of Hama, a city that has become the focal point for the nationwide uprising against the government.

Meanwhile, Syria has accused the United States of "interfering" in its affairs after the U.S. ambassador to the country travelled to Hama and met with dozens of protesters there.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said the visit by Robert Ford was "obvious proof" of U.S. involvement, but the U.S. State Department said Ford travelled to Hama only after informing the Syrian government of his plans.

French officials revealed today that France's envoy to Syria also travelled to Hama on July 7.

Hama was the most recent site of a violent crackdown launched by the Assad regime in March against demonstrators demanding democratic reforms.

Syrian activist say at least 1,400 people have so far been killed in the violence.

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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