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Jul 18, 2012 11:40 AM by Matt Stafford

US hits Syrian cabinet members with sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is slapping financial sanctions on a huge swath of top members in Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, targeting the prime minister and 28 other cabinet ministers and senior officials.

The Treasury Department announced the sanctions on Wednesday, hours after top Syrian officials were killed in an explosion in Damascus.

The U.S. move freezes any assets the ministers may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bars Americans from doing business with them. The administration had already imposed similar penalties on security officials, but the latest step extends those sanctions to virtually the entire government.

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