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Officials: Arabs likely to extend Syria mission
Arab League officials say foreign ministers likely to extend observer mission in Syria
By The Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) ' Two senior Arab League senior officials say the organization will likely extend its monitoring mission in Syria, with several nations that had been opposed to the extension changing their position in recent days.

The officials said Friday that the direction within the League is to keep the mission in place as the international community is not yet ready for "escalation" to an intervention in Syria.

Qatar, a harsh critic of the Syrian crackdown on protesters, has called for the dispatch of Arab troops to the country, where 10 months of unrest and crackdown have left thousands dead.

Arab League foreign ministers were set to meet Sunday in Cairo to discuss the future of a one-month observer mission, which expired on Thursday.

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

BEIRUT (AP) ' The Syrian opposition is calling for demonstrations in support of thousands of detainees they say are still in prison, despite a general amnesty declared this week.

President Bashar Assad issued the amnesty on Sunday for "crimes" committed during the 10-month uprising against his rule, but his regime did not say how many prisoners were covered by it.

Assad's government blames the violence in Syria on terrorists and armed gangs that it claims are part of a foreign conspiracy to destabilize the country.

The opposition says there are thousands of Syrian detainees still in prisons and other detention centers.

Friday's protests were called in the name of "the detainees of the revolution." The opposition called for their immediate release.

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