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Syria Forces Kill Mother, Two Children

Syrian security forces shot dead a mother and her two children fleeing an army assault on the eastern city of Deir al-Zour on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights cited residents as saying.

"The woman and her two children were trying to flee the Huweika district for somewhere safer when they were targeted by a security patrol," the rights group quoted residents as saying, adding that the father of the family was wounded.

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Anonymous Hacks Syrian Defense Ministry Website, Says ‘Tyrants Will Fall’

The group of hackers known as Anonymous has claimed taking over the Syrian government Ministry of Defense website publishing on it a message in support for the Syrian people.

Visitors to the Syrian military department's website have been greeted with the Anonymous logo and images and links to videos of dead protesters hours after activists said on Sunday that security forces backed by tanks killed scores of civilians in the eastern city of Deir al-Zour and the central town of Hula.

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Saleh Fears Mubarak’s Fate if he Returns to Yemen

Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has decided not to return to Yemen due to the U.S. pressure on him, the Pan Arab daily Ashaqr al-Aqsat reported on Monday.

U.S. sources told the daily that Saleh fears to be tried if he returned to Yemen like ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

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Saudi Arabia Recalls Syria Envoy as Assad Defends Crackdown

Saudi Arabia recalled its envoy to Syria in a major escalation of international pressure Monday after security forces killed more than 50 people and the regime defended its crackdown on "outlaws."

The shock move by Riyadh, the Middle East's Sunni Muslim heavyweight, followed condemnation by Pope Benedict XVI and the Arab League over the continuing bloodshed.

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U.S. Ambassador Vows to Monitor Syria Violence Firsthand

The U.S. envoy to Syria has returned to monitor the "grotesque" crackdown there, placing himself on a collision course with Damascus, which has imposed strict constraints on diplomats.

Washington on Thursday sent Ambassador Robert Ford back to Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad's troops and tanks have stormed major cities in an effort to suppress a months-long pro-democracy revolt.

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Jordan Says Syria Violence 'Worrisome', Urges Dialogue

Jordan said on Sunday the bloody crackdown on the opposition in Syria is "worrisome," and called for dialogue and reforms to end the crisis in the neighboring country.

"What is happening in Syria now is worrisome, unfortunate and sad," Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told the state-run Petra news agency in an interview.

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Kuwait Has No Plan to Expel Syrian Ambassador

Kuwait, which has called for a halt to bloodshed in Syria, said on Sunday it has no plans to expel the Syrian ambassador as demanded by MPs and protesters.

"The Syrian ambassador is here and he will stay in accordance with diplomatic agreements," foreign ministry undersecretary Khaled al-Jarallah told reporters.

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Gadhafi Forces Report Gains, Launch Western Offensive

Rebels in the western Libyan town of Zliten were said to be low on ammunition and on the defensive on Sunday, as the regime said its forces had retaken the strategic southwest town of Bir Ghanam.

Abdul Wahab Melitan, a rebel spokesman in the port city of Misrata near Zliten, said forces loyal to strongman Moammar Gadhafi had launched an assault on rebel positions in Zliten's Souk Telat area, killing three and wounding 15.

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Arab League Urges Syria to Stop violence 'Immediately'

The Arab League on Sunday called on the Syrian authorities to "immediately" stop the violence that has rocked the country since mid-March, in the pan-Arab body's first official statement on the unrest.

League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi "calls on the Syrian authorities to bring an end immediately to acts of violence and campaigns by the security forces against civilians," the statement said.

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Bahrain Releases Two Shiite Ex-MPs Pending Trial

Bahrain has ordered the release of two former MPs arrested in May after a crackdown on Shiite-led protests pending their trial in a civilian court, state news agency BNA said on Sunday.

The public prosecutor has decided to "release several detainees ... until the (civilian) court looks into their cases," including "two former MPs and a lawyer," BNA reported.

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