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EU Delays Decision on Arms for Syria Rebels



European Union governments delayed making a decision Friday on a push by Britain and France to arm Syrian rebels against government troops, as the civil war in Syria marked its second anniversary.

Following talks in Brussels, European Council President Herman van Rompuy said EU leaders discussed easing the bloc's embargo to allow arms supplies to the rebels. But he said they agreed to have their foreign ministers revisit the issue next week at a meeting in Dublin.

The embargo currently bars member countries from providing weapons to the Syrian opposition. That embargo ends in May. Several member states have expressed concerns that a flood of weapons into the country would only add to the bloodshed.

France has said it is ready to work with Britain to help arm Syrian rebels, even if there is no agreement with other nations to send the weapons.



Demonstrations were held Friday in protest centers across Syria to mark the second anniversary of the conflict which has claimed the lives of 70,000 people. Anti-government protesters first took to the streets in Syria to demand democratic change on March 15, 2011, during the early days of the region-wide upheaval known as the Arab Spring.

Violence continued in several parts of the country Friday. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights says government troops launched attacks in south Damascus, while rebels attacked military posts in the town of Kahn Touman in Aleppo province, killing several soldiers.

Also Friday, at least eight Syrians were killed and more than 20 others injured when a bus they were traveling in from Syria overturned in the Kahhaleh region in Lebanon. It was not immediately clear why the bus overturned.

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