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Syria Protests: Obama Says 'Outrageous' Violence Must 'End Now'

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Syrian anti-government protesters shout slogans as they demonstrate following Friday prayers in the central city of Homs, Syria, Friday, April 22, 2011. (AP Photo) | AP

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is condemning the latest use of force by Syria against anti-government demonstrators and says the regime's "outrageous" use of violence against the protesters must "end now."

At least 75 people were killed Friday when Syrian security forces fired bullets and tear gas at thousands of protesters across the country. It was the bloodiest day of the monthlong uprising against President Bashar Assad.

In a statement, Obama says Syria's moves a day earlier to repeal a decades-old emergency law and allow peaceful demonstrations were not serious in light of Friday's events.

He called on Assad to change course and obey the will of his people by giving them what they seek – freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and the ability to choose their leaders.

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