News / Middle East

Syrian Forces Kill 2, EU Heightens Sanctions

Syrian security forces shot dead at least two civilians Friday, as the European Union slapped new sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Syrian activists say the deaths happened in the Homs region as government forces cracked down on thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets around the country after Friday prayers.

Meanwhile, EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement Friday that the new sanctions serve to reinforce an earlier ban on Syrian crude oil imports began earlier this month.

The measures also include a ban on the delivery of bank notes to the Syrian central bank, as well as an asset freeze and travel ban on several individuals linked to the Syrian government.

This week several world leaders called on the United Nations Security Council to put greater pressure on President al-Assad's government. U.S. President Barack Obama urged the council to put new sanctions on Syria, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.

The United Nations estimates that at least 2,700 people have been killed during Syria's sustained assaults on anti-government protests.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

 

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