Bouthaina Shaaban
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Syria: Government promises political reforms

Syrian leaders have pledged to introduce reforms to meet the demands of protesters, after days of violence in the country's south.

Officials promised to study the need for lifting the state of emergency, in place since 1963, which gives security forces sweeping powers.

Bouthaina Shabaan, advisor to President Bashar al-Assad, denied that the government had ordered security forces to open fire on protesters in the city of Deraa.

She also accused international media, including the BBC and CNN, of exaggerating the crackdown on the protesters.

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