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Tuesday, 08 May 2012 - 8:33
Syrians vote for new parliament amid boycott calls.
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The Syrian authorities have held parliamentary elections amid continuing violence across much of the country.

Activists said troops had killed three people in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour and there was also reportedly fighting in the Hama and Idlib provinces.

The elections, promised last year by President Bashar al-Assad, were the first in 40 years not to guarantee a majority for the ruling Baath Party.

Opposition groups dismissed them as a sham, calling for a boycott.

They said the government was continuing its crackdown on dissent despite agreeing to a peace plan negotiated by the UN envoy, Kofi Annan.

The state news agency reported that more than 12,000 polling stations across drew "wide popular participation" in the poll, without giving any numbers.

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