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Syrian Security Forces Kill At Least 30 Protesters

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Syrian Security Forces Kill At Least 30 Protesters

Mental Health

Syrian Security Forces Kill At Least 30 Protesters

Syrian Security Forces Kill At Least 30 Protesters

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/136063068/136063050" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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In Syria, for the 8th Friday in a row, thousands of anti-government protesters defied a brutal crackdown and took to the streets in cities and towns around the country. Activists and human rights groups report that at least 30 people were killed, phone lines and electricity have been cut off and several cities have been completely isolated from the rest of the country. For more, Melissa Block talks to NPR's Kelly McEvers.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

And, Kelly, the worst violence, I understand, came today in the city of Homs. What happened there?

KELLY MCEVERS: As with all the reporting we do on Syria, these reports are based on phone conversations with witnesses, you know, accounts from human rights groups and videos that activists claimed to have taken. But because we are not allowed to enter Syria, we cannot independently confirm the information.

BLOCK: Yes. And, Kelly, other deaths reported today in the city of Hama which is notorious as the site of an uprising by Sunni Muslims back in 1982 that was violently crushed.

MCEVERS: So the fact that the people are talking about it, that they're holding signs saying remember Hama, just gives you an idea of how bold these protesters have become in just a few short weeks.

BLOCK: Kelly, what is the government of Bashar al-Assad saying about what happened today?

MCEVERS: One policeman even held up bags of fake blood, claiming that protesters are staging their injuries and deaths, and then sending these videos, you know, to the international media as part of a larger conspiracy to take down the regime.

BLOCK: Kelly, the European Union has said to have agreed on sanctions against the Syrian regime. What are they, and will they have an effect?

MCEVERS: Still, that could have a bigger impact than U.S. sanctions have because members of Assad's regime don't have American assets. They do travel to Europe, do business with Europe and pride themselves on their relations with some European leaders.

BLOCK: Kelly, thank you very much.

MCEVERS: You're welcome.

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