Tens of thousands of Syrians demonstrated in Damascus today against the Arab League's weekend decision to suspend the country's membership.
Protesters carried posters of President Bashar Assad and pledged support for the government, which is increasingly isolated internationally for its brutal crackdown on a seven-month uprising.
Overnight pro-government demonstrators staged angry rallies outside the Saudi Arabian and Qatari embassies, with some succeeding in breaking through police lines and onto embassy property.
Windows at the Saudi embassy were smashed while the Qatari embassy's flag was torn down and replaced with a Syrian one and the building was pelted with eggs and tomatoes.
The Arab League voted to suspend Syria on Saturday because of its failure to carry out a peace deal agreed on November 2.
Under the deal authorities promised to withdraw armoured vehicles from streets across the country and release political prisoners.
But violent confrontations with protesters and armed opposition activists have continued, with dozens of anti-government activists killed in the central city of Homs.
The opposition local co-ordination committees reported another 18 deaths in Homs on Saturday alone.
League diplomats said that if the government did not adhere to its demands it would work to unify opposition groups in the country to boost the chance of regime change.
US President Barack Obama praised the league for suspending Syria, saying that the country had "systematically violated human rights and repressed peaceful protests."
League heavyweight Saudi Arabia sent its troops to crush pro-democracy protests in Bahrain in March.
Official inflation figures understate the real extent of rising costs, but even the government's own CPI scheme lays bare the ongoing misery for working people and those dependent on benefits.
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