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Page last updated at 07:51 GMT, Thursday, 5 May 2011 08:51 UK

Call for 'rational fight' for Syrian reform

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The crisis in Syria has moved into its eighth week with no end in sight.

With no journalists allowed into the country, Jim Muir reported from Beirut that violent images made available online of the army shooting protesters that cannot have been faked.

In the face of government attacks, the protesters have changed their target from reform to the overthrow of President Assad's regime, he said.

But he also reported that many in the country would still prefer serious reform of the regime over the chaos of revolution.

Professor George Jabbour, a former member of the Syrian government, condemned the violence in the country but said there were "two versions" of events which he could not decide between - as the government is also reporting security forces killed by the protesters.

"They were not killed by slogans they were killed by shots," he said.

He supported the calls for reform, but said that the protesters should "conduct a peaceful fight... conduct a rational fight".

But human rights activist Wissam Tarif said that many of the security force members who had died were killed by their own forces because they refused to attack protesters.

"If the regime does not have anything to hide why don't they let the international press in?" he asked.


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