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Syria Crisis: European Union May Impose New Sanctions

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Syrian people gather in front of the Russian Embassy, seen behind, in Qatar, to protest against the use of Russia's veto against the amended resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council, in Doha, Tuesday Feb. 7, 2012.(AP Photo/Osama Faisal)
Syrian people gather in front of the Russian Embassy, seen behind, in Qatar, to protest against the use of Russia's veto against the amended resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council, in Doha, Tuesday Feb. 7, 2012.(AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

BRUSSELS -- A senior EU official say the bloc will soon impose harsher sanctions against Syria as it seeks to weaken the regime and end President Bashar Assad's crackdown against political opponents.

The official said Wednesday the new measures may include bans on the import of Syrian phosphates, on commercial flights between Syria and Europe, and on financial transactions with the country's central bank.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with EU rules, said some measures would be adopted at the EU foreign ministers meeting on Feb. 27, but it's not yet clear which.

The EU has already banned oil imports from Syria, and imposed visa bans and asset freezes against government officials and military and police officers.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

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