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    UN concerned over situation in Egypt, Syria

    United Nations: Expressing deep concern at the escalating violence in Egypt and Syria, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on authorities in both the countries to ensure protection of human rights.

    Ban deplored the loss of life and growing number of those injured in Egypt as thousands of people continued their protests in Cairo against its military's intentions to retain power even after the parliamentary polls are held on November 28.

    At least 41 people have died in Egypt during a week of protests against the country's military.

    The Secretary General "reiterates his call for the transitional authorities to guarantee the protection of human rights and civil liberties for all Egyptians," a statement by Ban's spokesperson said.

    He also reiterates his call for an inclusive, orderly and peaceful transition that met the "legitimate aspirations" of the Egyptian people through transparent and credible elections that establish civilian rule.

    Ban had a telephonic conversation with Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, Chair of the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

    On Syria too Ban remains "extremely concerned" at the escalating crisis and mounting death toll, his spokesperson said.

    He said Ban welcomes efforts of the League of Arab States to end the bloodshed and promote a political solution.

    "These efforts need to be encouraged and supported. The Secretary-General welcomes in particular the Arab League's proposal to send an observer mission to protect civilians in Syria," the statement said.