Syria says reaches deal with Arab League on unrest

BEIRUT, (Reuters) – Syria said today it had  reached agreement with an Arab League committee tasked with  finding a way to end seven months of unrest and starting a  dialogue between President Bashar al-Assad and his opponents.
State media reported “agreement regarding a final document  on the situation in Syria”, without giving details, saying an  official announcement would be made at the Arab League  headquarters in Cairo today.
But a senior Arab League official said the organisation was  still awaiting a response from Damascus to proposals for halting  the bloodshed, which activists said continued today with  two civilians shot dead by Assad’s forces in Homs and two  soldiers killed by army deserters in an ambush.
One activist said gunmen dragged nine people, all of them  from Assad’s minority Alawite sect, from a bus on a road between  the cities of Homs and Hama, and killed them.
The United Nations says more than 3,000 people have been  killed in Assad’s crackdown on an uprising which erupted in  March against his rule, inspired by revolutions which have  toppled three Arab leaders this year.
Most Syrian opposition figures reject dialogue with  authorities while the violence continues, and one activist said  he feared any agreement in Cairo would give Assad a green light  to continue his military campaign to crush dissent.
The United States, which has imposed sanctions on Syria’s  oil industry and key state businesses in response to Assad’s   crackdown, said that if Syria’s accepted and implemented the  Arab League’s proposals it would be “very welcome”.

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