Clinton heading to UN to condemn Assad regime

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she'll attend a U.N. Security Council meeting Tuesday to lend her support to Syrians seeking democratic change.

Clinton says the U.S. will support an Arab-backed condemnation of President Bashar Assad's regime. She says Assad is blocking a peaceful transition by attacking the Syrian people, and warned that instability could spill over throughout the Mideast.

Assad's regime is intensifying an assault against army defectors and protesters. The U.N. says more than 5,400 people have been killed in a crackdown since March. More than 190 were killed in the past five days.

Clinton's statement condemned the Assad regime's escalation of violence "in the strongest possible terms." She called the shelling of civilian areas with mortar and tank fire "brutal" and said whole buildings were leveled.