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Reuters news agency reported on Saturday that the US State Department issued a statement urging its citizens to leave Syria immediately , and said it “was important to postpone visits” to the unrest-hit country.

“US citizens are being urged to immediately leave as long as commercial means of transportation are still available,” the report said.

The advisory expands a travel warning issued in late April that ordered eligible family members of US government employees and certain non-emergency personnel to leave.

Activists reported that Syrian security forces on Friday killed at least 58 civilians in attacks on tens of thousands of protesters who poured into the streets to demonstrate against the rule of President Bashar Assad on the first Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Al-Arabiya TV reported, adding that eye witnesses said around 250 tanks are surrounding Hama.

At least 2000 civilians have been killed since mid-March in Syria, according to a Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

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