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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says countries that have been slow to denounce Syria for its political crackdown should toughen up and get on what she says is “the right side of history.”

The message appeared to be directed at Russia, China and Arab countries.

Clinton spoke Thursday as the Syrian government pounded a central town with artillery and gunfire, killing at least 15. Activists say at least 1,100 have died since the crackdown began in March.

Clinton says the U.S. is working closely with Europe, but other countries are blocking strong action at the Security Council.

The U.S. was itself slow to fully denounce Syrian President Bashar Assad, preferring for a time to encourage him to ease off and adopt reforms. The U.S. abandoned that tactic last month.

AP

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