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Australia calls for Assad trial

Australia is lobbying for Syrian president Bashar Assad to be tried by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity over his regime's violent suppression of protesters.

Officials told an Australian senate committee that letters were sent to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council requesting that the situation in Syria be referred to the Hague-based court so members of Mr Assad's regime can be prosecuted.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Assistant Secretary David Stuart said abuses in Syria "amount to crimes against humanity".

Protesters said at least 25 children are among more than 1,000 dead, with government crackdowns increasing the toll almost daily.

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