6 Killed at Protests in Syria

Posted September 2nd, 2011 at 9:45 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian forces have opened fire on anti-government protesters, killing at least six people.

Rights activists say Friday's deaths occurred in areas includinge flashpoint central province of Homs.

Activists say they are protesting under the banner of “death rather than humiliation” as they renew calls for President Bashar al-Assad's resignation.

One rally took place outside of the home of Adnan Bakkour, the attorney general for Hama province.

In a video released this week , Bakkour said he resigned to protest the government's deadly crackdown on dissent. The Syrian government says Bakkour was kidnapped and made that statement under duress.

Witnesses said security forces surrounded some mosques Friday in an effort to prevent protesters from taking to the streets after midday prayers.

Meanwhile, the European Union has banned oil imports from Syria. The EU said the move is designed to increase pressure on President Assad for his crackdown on dissent.

Separately, France announced Friday that it is working to develop contacts with Syria's opposition.

The U.S. and Britain have demanded strict new international sanctions to force Mr. Assad from office.