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Syrian officials quit in stand against protest crackdown

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Some 200 officials from Syria's leading Baath party resigned on Thursday in protest against the government's violent suppression of pro-democracy protesters, global media said.

Some 200 officials from Syria's leading Baath party resigned on Thursday in protest against the government's violent suppression of pro-democracy protesters, global media said.

Most of the officials were based in the southern city of Deraa, where hundreds of protesters have been killed in the past six weeks.

Russia opposed on Wednesday a draft UN Security Council statement condemning the Syrian government's violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, saying the events do not threaten global security.

"The current situation in Syria does not threaten global peace and security, despite heightened tension and confrontation," Russia's deputy UN envoy Alexander Pankin said.

Russia was one of several countries in the 15-member group to oppose the draft statement proposed by France, Britain, Germany and Portugal.

"A real threat to regional security could arise from outside interference in Syria's domestic situation," Pankin said.

Moscow has opposed military intervention in Syria and criticized the NATO-led coalition engaged in military operations against Libya for acting outside of the scope of a UN Security Council resolution.

Some 450 people are believed to have been killed in protests in Syria, which have raged in the country since mid-March.

The country's leadership says it sent troops to several cities on the request of citizens worried about "violent extremists," although the opposition insists protests have been peaceful.

In an attempt to appease protesters, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad formed a new government, promised a score of political and economic reforms, and even lifted on Tuesday the almost five-decade long state of emergency in the country.

However, these measures failed to pacify the opposition prompting the government to resort to violence instead.

UN, April 28 (RIA Novosti)

 

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