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Security forces fire at crowd in funeral

BEIRUT -- Syrian security forces fired live rounds and tear gas Saturday at thousands of people marching in a funeral procession that turned into one of the largest protests in Damascus since the 11-month uprising against President Bashar Assad began.

Activists, including the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said one person was killed. The funeral was held for three people killed by security forces on Friday.

The new violence broke out during a visit by a Chinese envoy, who said his country will back a solution to the crisis based on proposals already put forward by the Arab League -- even though Beijing is unlikely to support the regional bloc's call for Assad to step aside.

During his visit Saturday to Syria, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun urged dialogue and called on all parties to stop violence.


Emperor undergoes heart bypass surgery

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's Emperor Akihito underwent successful heart bypass surgery Saturday and should begin rehabilitation in a few days, doctors and palace officials said.

After the operation, Akihito, 78, was being monitored in an intensive care unit at the University of Tokyo Hospital, his surgeons said.

"The operation went smoothly as planned," Minoru Ono, a University of Tokyo Hospital heart surgeon, told a news conference with three other doctors.

Akihito was scheduled for the surgery after tests last weekend showed his heart condition had worsened from a year ago. As planned, two of the three coronary arteries were repaired using a blood vessel from another part of his body, Ono said.