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Clinton Urges More Pressure On Syria's Assad

Men run for cover after unknown gunmen start shooting randomly in the flashpoint city of Homs.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for European countries and other nations to impose more sanctions on Syria to escalate the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to leave power.

Clinton, speaking in Paris on the sidelines of an international meeting on Libya, urged sanctions targeting Syria's oil and gas exports in order to deny the Syrian regime revenues that she said fund its campaign of violence against anti-regime protesters.

"Syria must be allowed to move forward,” Clinton said. “Those who have joined us in this call must now translate our rhetoric into concrete actions to escalate the pressure on Assad and those around him, including strong new sanctions targeting Syria's energy sector to deny the regime the revenues that fund its campaign of violence."

Reports say European Union foreign ministers, at a meeting in Poland, are expected to discuss imposing new economic sanctions against Syria, including a possible embargo on oil imports.

The United Nations has estimated that 2,200 people have been killed in the Syrian regime's crackdown on protests which began in mid-March.

Activists on September 1 said security forces have killed at least five more people in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said three people were killed and several more were wounded when security forces opened fire on protesters in the central region of Homs.

The Britain-based organization also reported "one dead and five wounded in an assault by the army and security forces on the village of Al-Rama" in the northwestern province of Idlib, near the Turkish border.

It also said a young man was killed by pro-regime militiamen in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor.

A girl of 10 was also reported to have died of wounds suffered late on August 31 during a shooting near police headquarters at Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria as she rode in a taxi with her family.

compiled from agency reports