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Asma Assad, Syria President's Wife, Sanctioned By European Union

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Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's wife Asma gestures is pictured at the Bristol hotel on December 11, 2010 in Paris. Al-Assad is on a two-days official visit to France. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty Images

BRUSSELS -- Officials say that the EU foreign ministers have slapped sanctions on the wife and other close relatives of Syrian President Bashar Assad in a continuing attempt to stop the violent crackdown on opposition.

They said four members of the Assad family and eight government ministers have been targeted in the latest round of sanctions. All three officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision will be announced later Friday following the foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels.

Asma Assad, 36, was born in London and has British citizenship, and an EU official said that likely meant she could not be banned from travel to the U.K.

The U.N. estimates that more than 8,000 people have been killed since an uprising began in Syria a year ago.


Raf Casert contributed to this report.


Bashar and Asma al-Assad
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