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06/28/2013 12:35 pm ET

Syrian Protesters Wish Nelson Mandela Well (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Anti-government protesters in a small Syrian town have broadcast a message of solidarity with South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, whose is battling for his life in a Pretoria hospital.

Marching on Friday in the northwestern town of Hass, near Syria's border with Turkey, the protesters held a large banner declaring: "Nelson Mandela! We wish we could take all your pains and add them to ours. God bless you."

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CNN reported Wednesday that Mandela was placed on life support after being hospitalized for a recurring lung infection June 8. Mandela's family said on Thursday that the icon is doing better in recent days.

President Barack Obama said Friday he was unsure if he would be able to visit the former South African president on his Africa tour, explaining it might be better for him not to be "obtrusive" at a time when Mandela's family was concerned about his health.

A human rights group announced this week it estimates that the war in Syria has claimed more than 100,000 lives since March 2011.

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