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Obama urges Syrian president to stop killings

world Updated: Feb 05, 2012 07:56 IST

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US President Barack Obama has called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop the killings in the country and step aside for a democratic transition in the Middle East nation.

Obama said the Syrian government "murdered" hundreds of Syrian citizens on Friday "through shelling and other indiscriminate violence", and that Syrian forces continued to prevent hundreds of injured civilians from seeking medical help.

"I strongly condemn the Syrian government's unspeakable assault against the people of Homs and I offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones," Xinhua quoted Obama as saying in a statement.

"Assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes against his own people now. He must step aside and allow a democratic transition to proceed immediately," Obama said.

"Assad has no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community," he said.