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Syrian Army Attacks Latakia, As U.S. Urges Oil, Gas Boycott


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Syrian military forces have entered the coastal city of Latakia amid intense shooting, according to opposition activists.

They said up to 20 tanks and armored personnel carriers have been deployed, part of a bloody crackdown on protesters against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Latakia has seen large protests against the government.

On August 12, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged countries to stop buying Syrian oil and gas as she sought to press Assad into ending his crackdown across the country.

In an interview with CBS News, Clinton urged China, India, and European countries to impose energy sanctions. She also urged Russia to abandon its decades-long practice of selling arms to Syria.

But Clinton stopped short of explicitly demanding that Assad step down -- a call U.S. officials say President Barack Obama's administration has decided to make in the coming days.

Activists and witnesses in Syria said at least 11 protesters were killed on August 12 in protests after Friday Prayers.

Five were shot outside the capital, Damascus, one in Homs and another in the central flashpoint city of Hama, two in the northern city of Aleppo, one in Deir el-Zour in the east, and one in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Military raids earlier in the day killed at least two people. The state-run SANA news agency said two policemen were killed in the Damascus suburb of Douma when they came under fire.

The UN Security Council is set to discuss the humanitarian emergency in Syria on August 18.

compiled from agency reports