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Tens of thousands in Syria stage pro-Assad rally
Tens of thousands stage pro-Assad demonstration in Syria capital
By The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) ' Tens of thousands of Syrians are demonstrating in the Syrian capital in a show of support for embattled President Bashar Assad.

International pressure is piling up on Assad to step down over his regime's bloody crackdown on anti-government protests that the U.N. says has left nearly 3,000 people dead since March.

The government's mobilization of tens of thousands to take part in Wednesday's demonstration is intended to show that Assad still enjoys the support of many Syrians.

Organizers say the Damascus rally is also meant to thank Russia and China for blocking a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria for its brutal crackdown.

Their vetoes last week drew heavy criticism from Washington.

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