15 die as Syrians march demanding Assad's ouster

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President Bashar Assad
Beirut, Jun 25: Defying government guns, thousands of Syrian protesters poured down city streets and a main highway to press demands for President Bashar Assad's ouster. Security forces opened fire, killing at least 15 people, including two children, activists said.

"Our revolution is strong! Assad has lost legitimacy!" a YouTube video showed protesters chanting yesterday in Zabadani, a suburb of Damascus, the Syrian capital.

Syria''s streets have become the stage for a test of endurance between a 3-month-old pro-democracy movement, bloodied but resilient, and an iron-fisted but embattled regime. The latest round of protests and killings came as international pressure mounted on Assad.

"We will not stand by while the Syrian regime uses violent repression to silence its own people," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said after the European Union expanded sanctions asset freezes and travel bans to more members of the Syrian leadership.

The Syrian opposition says 1,400 people have been killed as the government has cracked down on a movement demanding an end to four decades of Assad family rule a popular uprising renewed each Friday after weekly Muslim prayers. 

AP

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