Arab League: Syria Agrees to Plan to Curb Crackdown

Posted November 2nd, 2011 at 1:15 pm (UTC-5)
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The Arab League says the Syrian government has approved a plan to curtail its nearly eight months-long crackdown on dissent.

The announcement came during the Arab League's meeting in Cairo Wednesday. The Arab League diplomats' proposal calls for the Syrian government to withdraw security forces from the streets, stop violence by pro-government forces against civilians, and begin talks with the Syrian opposition in Cairo.

An Arab League representative from Qatar also said Wednesday Syria will allow members of the international media into the country who have previously been banned.

Syrian state news had reported earlier that Syrian authorities and an Arab League ministerial committee had come to terms on a “final document.”

Violence continued in Syria Wednesday with at least 31 deaths. Syrian activists say gunmen killed 11 factory workers Wednesday in the Homs province village of Kfar Laha. Details of the incident were not clear.

Activists also say security forces killed five civilians in and around Homs, a center of the country's uprising.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also says Syrian army deserters killed 15 security forces members during two bomb attacks on convoys in Hama province.

On Friday, the 22-member league sharpened its criticism of Syria after rights activists said Syrian security forces had shot and killed dozens of anti-government protesters as part of a widening crackdown on dissent.

The United Nations says the number of people killed in the seven-month-old uprising has surpassed 3,000. The Syrian government says terrorists have killed hundreds of security personnel during that period.

Meanwhile, thousands of supporters of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad gathered in the northern city of Raqqa to rally for the government. It appeared to be the latest of several state-organized rallies in support of Mr. Assad.