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Saturday, 14 April, 2001, 15:48 GMT 16:48 UK
Syrian Muslim Brothers' comeback

The outlawed Muslim brotherhood in Syria has announced its intention to resume political activity, twenty years after its leaders were forced to flee the country.

A statement on the group's website welcomed recent signs of openness in Syrian society, but said there could be no better future for Syrians in a state which is still run by emergency and martial laws.

The group said Syrians deserved a national state whose institutions and agencies belonged to all citizens, and not to one party only -- a reference to the ruling Baath party.

The Muslim brotherhood was banned in Syria shortly after the coup which brought the Baath to power in 1963; and in 1982 the army suppressed an uprising in the city of Hama organsied by the Muslim brotherhood.

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