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Syrian government shelling kills dozens in Hama, opposition says

April 23, 2012 | 10:17 am

BEIRUT -- A day after a small team of United Nations observers visited the Syrian city of Hama, government shelling there killed an estimated 35 residents Monday, anti-government activists said.

At least two neighborhoods were hit, leaving homes burned and destroyed, according to the Local Coordination Committees. In another part of the city, residents protested in the streets, the group said.

Elsewhere in Syria, nine people were killed as monitors continued touring areas affected by the 13-month uprising against President Bashar Assad.

Online video from Duma, a Damascus suburb where activists said several people were killed when government forces shelled and raided it Sunday,  purported to show monitors driving down a city street surrounded by anti-government protesters.  Monitors also visited other Damascus suburbs, including Zabadani, though their tour was described as lasting only about an hour, during which tanks still stationed throughout the town were hidden from view.

The European Union on Monday imposed additional sanctions on Syria, banning the sale of luxury goods and items that could be used for internal suppression. In its announcement of the 14th round of sanctions on Syria since anti-government demonstrations began last March, the sanctioned items were not specified.

"We have imposed additional sanctions against the Syrian regime because of deep concern about the situation and the continuing violence, in spite of the cease-fire,” said EU High Representative Catherine Ashton. “The repression in Syria must stop. We are working with the international community to ensure that we enforce sanctions as effectively as possible."


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-- Rima Marrouch