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Syria Bars 17 Western Diplomats, Including U.S. Ambassador

Calling them "persona non grata," Syria today told 17 diplomats — including the U.S. ambassador — that they are no longer welcome in the country.

That move comes "a week after 11 Western nations acted in unison to expel envoys from Syria in an expression of outrage over the massacre in the Houla region, near Homs, that left 108 people dead, including many women and children," as The New York Times writes.

The U.S. embassy in Damascus has been closed since February.

The BBC says the diplomats on the list are from "the U.S., U.K., Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany and Canada."

Those are among the nations that have been most vocal in condemning the Assad regime's crackdown on dissent in Syria, which has led to the deaths of thousands of Syrians. The regime blames "terrorists" for the violence.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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