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Syria vows to execute 'terrorists' after worst day of violence

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Muzaffar Salman/AP

(Read caption) Pro-regime protesters gather during a rally in Damascus, Syria, Monday. Syria signed an Arab League initiative Monday that will allow Arab observers into the country as part of peace deal that aims to end the nation's 9-month-old uprising.

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Syria has announced it will execute "terrorists" and anyone who distributes weapons, just a day after Damascus publicly committed to an Arab League peace plan – a move that analysts and the opposition say is a stalling tactic.

Yesterday also marked the deadliest day of violence since Syria's uprising began in mid-March. Damascus has long insisted that such violence has been committed by "terrorist" gangs attacking Syrian forces and civilians. Today Syrian state TV announced that the government has enacted a new law imposing the death penalty against "terrorists" and anyone distributing weapons for terrorist activities, CNN reports. The new law also imposes a life sentence of hard labor for arms trafficking.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, some 70 Syrian Army deserters were shot as they attempted to defect to the rebels, reports BBC News. "They were killed while trying to run away from their military positions on the way between the villages of Kensafra and Kefer Quaid, in Zawyia Mountain, in Idlib district," the Observatory said. The Syrian Revolution General Commission, a rebel coalition, put the number killed at 72.

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