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Associated Press / ibnlive.in.com / Posted on Aug 28, 2011 at 09:45pm IST.
Beirut: Syrian authorities pursuing a crackdown against President Bashar Assad's critics banned three prominent opposition figures from leaving the country on Sunday, and security forces killed two people and arrested several others in northern Syria, activists said.
Michel Kilo, Loay Hussein and Fayez Sara were on their way to neighboring Lebanon to take part in a televised panel discussion when they were told by Syrian immigration authorities at the border that they were prohibited from leaving out of concern for their safety in Lebanon.
Hussein denounced what he called an attempt to keep them from speaking on television. The debate was to be aired by the U.S.-funded Al-Hurra television.
"This decision negates all talk about transparency and reforms," said Sara. "It is unjustified and illegal," he added.
In northern Syria, security forces killed two people and detained scores of others during raids and house-to-house arrests in the Khan Sheikon village.
The Local Coordination Committees activist network and the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the deaths. They said similar arrests were made in the eastern Deir el-Zour and reported intermittent gunfire that erupted in several areas across the country.
Snipers shot dead one man in the Damascus suburb of Saqba overnight after troops deployed in the restive area, they said.