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Violence erupts around Syria
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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Violence erupted around Syria on Friday as troops opened fire on protesters in several cities and pro- and anti-government crowds clashed on the tense streets of the capital in the most widespread unrest in years, witnesses said. Soldiers shot at demonstrators in the restive southern city of Daraa after crowds set fire to a bronze statue of the country's late president, Hafez Assad, a resident told The Associated Press. He said he heard heavy gunfire in the city center and later saw two bodies and many wounded people being brought to Daraa's main hospital.