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Page last updated at 09:04 GMT, Saturday, 20 August 2011 10:04 UK

Syrian demonstrations 'like London riots'

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The Foreign Office minister Alastair Burt has said that any United Nations' sanctions against Syria must be targeted on supporters of the Assad regime.

And Mr Burt also revealed that the United Kingdom has yet to take on decision on against the oil sanctions.

His comments came after Syrian spokeswoman Reem Haddad claimed that any such sanctions would mainly affect "ordinary people" in the country.

Reports from Syria say troops have opened fire in the third biggest city, Homs, despite repeated official assertions that all military action against protesters has stopped.

Anti-government campaigners said 40 people were killed by the security forces on Friday in clashes across the country, including Damascus. A United Nations humanitarian mission is due to arrive in Syria on Saturday and says it has been granted access to all areas.

Ms Haddad insisted to Today presenter Justin Webb that President Assad "has not been killing his own people", adding: "There are armed gangs in the streets of Syria, who are looting and pillaging and causing terror, a little bit [like] what you had in London."

She also said that reforms promised by the Assad regime will need time, stability and security.


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