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Homs MP defies Assad to defect

A Syrian MP has fled the country to join the opposition against President Bashar al-Assad, saying the people are suffering sweeping human rights violations.

Imad Ghalioun, who represents Homs, said the city, which has been one of the most active in the uprising against Mr Assad's rule, is a disaster after months of being a focus of the regime's fierce crackdown.

"The Syrian people are living their worst period," Mr Ghalioun said, from Egypt. AP