Syrian dissidents call for no-fly zone

Oct. 28, 2011 at 6:58 PM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- At least 31 people were killed Friday in Syria during demonstrations urging a "no-fly" zone over the country, protesters said.

The "Syria Revolution 2011" Facebook page described the protests as "Friday of a no-fly zone," with participants encouraging the international community to prevent President Bashar al-Assad from using Syria's military aircraft against dissidents, the Los Angeles Times reported.

More than half the deaths, 18, were reported in Homs, and nine in Hama, the major stronghold of the Syrian opposition. Arrests were reported in Homs, Hama and Aleppo, the second-largest city in the country.

More than 3,000 people have died in clashes between security forces and protesters since March, the United Nations estimates. Demonstrations have been held almost every Friday for months, with thousands of people arrested and others fleeing the country.

Assad blames the deaths on terrorist groups in the opposition ranks.

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