BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar Assad announced a wide-ranging amnesty on Monday, less than a week after he was re-elected to another seven-year term in the midst of civil war.

In a decree published by state media, Assad commuted some death sentences to life imprisonment, reduced jail terms for many offenses and cancelled some others altogether.

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Foreigners who entered the country "to join a terrorist group or perpetrate a terrorist act" would receive an amnesty if they surrender to authorities within a month, the decree said. Kidnappers who free their hostages and army deserters would also be covered, it said

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