Twenty killed in Syrian clashes, EU sanctions bank

BEIRUT - At least 20 people were killed in renewed fighting in Syria on Thursday, an activist group said, and the European Union imposed sanctions on the country's biggest state bank which bankers say holds much of the country's foreign reserves.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 10 civilians were killed in the northern province of Idlib when soldiers loyal to President Bashar Assad stormed the town of Binish and fought battles with gunmen and army deserters.
In the southern province of Deraa, where the six-month wave of protests against Assad first erupted, six soldiers and two army deserters were killed in a clash in the town of Haara, alongside one civilian, the group said. Another soldier was killed in Homs.
Diplomats in Brussels said the European Union agreed on Thursday to add to its sanctions list the state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria which bankers say holds much of Syria's foreign reserves, estimated at $17 billion at the start of the year.