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Syrians close shops, schools in strike aimed at raising economic pressure on Assad regime

BEIRUT — Syrians closed their businesses and kept children home from school in several parts of the country Monday in a show of civil disobedience against the regime as a new and fierce round of clashes between troops and army defectors spread, activists said.

Amid the violence, President Bashar Assad’s regime pushed ahead with municipal elections that the opposition has dismissed as a meaningless concession that falls far short of their demands for Assad to give up power.

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