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Syrian death toll rises despite Arab League deal

The Arab League has called for emergency talks after 13 people were killed in an assault by Syrian troops on the city of Homs.

The deaths come at the start of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, one of Islam’s holiest days, and bring the numbers of civilians killed to 60, since Assad officially accepted an Arab league peace plan.

General Nabil al-Arabi, Arab League Secretary, called on Assad to implement the plan, and warned that failure to do so would result in "catastrophic consequences for the situation in Syria and the region".

The Arab League has now called an emergency meeting for to discuss "the continuing violence and the government's failure to stick to its obligations under the Arab Action Plan".

The head of the opposition Syrian National Council, Burhan Ghalioun, gave a televised speech on Saturday evening, pledging that they would not to be deceived by Assad's promises.

"We will not negotiate on the blood of the victims and martyrs … we will not be deceived. The National Council will not allow the regime to bide for time."

The continued violence has led French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe to state that it is clear that there is,

"nothing more to expect from this regime and that despite its occasional announcements it will not commit to a programme of reforms".

He criticised the "failure" at the UN Security Council to take action against Syria, after a motion to introduce measures against Syria, including possible sanctions, was vetoed by Russia and China last month.

Speaking to Europe 1 radio, Juppe said,

"Different initiatives have been taken to try to bring Bashar al-Assad to dialogue. You can see what happened to the last one: Bashar al-Assad accepts the Arab League peace plan and the next day he massacres dozens more people in the streets."

The emergency Arab League meeting has been scheduled for the 12th of November.

See our earlier post: 'Assad warns West of “earthquakes” if they intervene' (Oct 2011)

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