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In brief: Teenager among 16 killed by Syrian forces at protest

Sat., June 18, 2011

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Syrian security forces fired on thousands of protesters Friday, killing a teenage boy and at least 15 other civilians as accounts emerged of more indiscriminate killing and summary executions by the autocratic regime of President Bashar Assad, activists said.

The three-month uprising has proved stunningly resilient despite a relentless crackdown by the military, the pervasive security forces and pro-regime gunmen. Human rights activists say more than 1,400 Syrians have been killed and 10,000 detained as Assad desperately tries to maintain his grip on power.

Assad is expected to give a speech as early as Sunday in what would be only his third public appearance since the uprising began in mid-March, inspired by the revolutions sweeping the Arab world.

The uprising has proved to be the boldest challenge to the Assad family’s 40-year dynasty in Syria.

On Friday, a French official said the European Union was preparing new, expanded sanctions that would target “economic entities” in Syria.

Asiana Airlines jet fired on

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean marines fired on a civilian jetliner as it was descending to land after mistaking it for a North Korean aircraft, a news report says.

Yonhap news agency reported that the incident took place at dawn Friday. Yonhap cited a military source it did not identify.

According to today’s report, two marine guards stationed on an island fired rifle rounds at an Asiana Airlines flight carrying 119 people that was approaching Incheon International Airport west of Seoul.

The jet was flying out of range of the rifles and was not damaged, the report said.

Floods widespread in China

BEIJING – A flooded river in eastern China is at its highest level in more than 50 years, and thousands of train passengers were stranded after landslides buried parts of a railway line in the southwest, officials said.

Flooding in China over the past two weeks has left more than 170 people dead or missing and forced out residents in regions along the Yangtze River.

Since Monday, flooding and rains have killed 25 people, left 25 missing and forced about 671,200 to evacuate from their homes.


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