17 die as Syrian troops open fire

17 die as Syrian troops open fire

The bloodshed was a blow to the 22-nation Arab League, which announced on Wednesday that Damascus agreed to a broad plan that included an end to violence against demonstrators.

Opposition groups called for a large turnout in Friday’s protests to challenge whether the regime would make good on the agreement to refrain from using deadly force. Gunfire erupted shortly after the protests began, in the same pattern as previous Fridays.

“This regime is not serious about ending its brutal crackdown,” said Mustafa Osso, a Syria-based human rights lawyer.

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