France says Syria should halt violence against protestors

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France on Friday urged Syrian authorities to stop using violence on anti-government protestors after police shot dead more than 70 people taking part in nationwide demonstrations.

The authorities should "renounce the use of violence against their citizens," a foreign ministry statement said.

A day after President Bashar al-Assad scrapped decades of emergency rule, his forces used live ammunition against demonstrators in several towns and cities nationwide, witnesses and activists told AFP by telephone.

© 2011 AFP

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