Friday, April 01, 2011

Protesters Again Demonstrate In Syria

Protesters have again taken to the streets to protest against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, primarily after the Friday prayers. Protests were not confined to Daraa, but there are indications of protests in multiple cities.

There are reports of casualties in skirmishes between Assad's goons and the protesters. Three people were reportedly killed in the latest violent crackdown against opponents to the regime.
At least three people reportedly were killed in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, Reuters says, citing witnesses. AFP news agency, also citing witnesses, said at least four people were killed and dozens of others wounded after security forces fired on protesters in Douma.

Earlier posting: Protests broke out in three Syrian cities after prayers today, two days after President Bashar Assad sought to quell unrest that has rocked the country for two weeks.

Al-Jazeera TV reports that thousands of protesters turned out in the southern city of Daraa, where 61 people were killed last week by security forces, and around the capital of Damascus, as well as several other towns.

Reuters, quoting opposition activists, reports demonstrations in the Damascus suburb of Douma and in the coastal cities of Latakia and Banais.

Al-Jazeera and other media report that the government is using tear gas, water cannon and people in plainclothes armed with sticks to try to subdue the protesters.
Syria's Muslim Brotherhood, which took it on the chin nearly 30 years ago in Hama, says that while they support Western intervention in Libya to stop Khadafi, they see no need for a similar intervention in Syria. Then again, there's no one clamoring for a no-fly zone in Syria - not France, not the US, and not the UN, so for the moment, Assad is free to quell the protests as he sees fit.

The regime has released a Reuters reporter, but a photographer remains in custody.
Reuters correspondent Suleiman al-Khalidi was released by Syrian authorities Friday, three days after he was detained in Damascus.

A week after Syria expelled another Reuters foreign correspondent, Khalidi was set free to cross back into Jordan, where he is based, shortly after 4 p.m. (3 p.m. British time)

But Reuters had still had no contact with photographer Khaled al-Hariri, a Syrian based in Damascus, since he disappeared in the capital four days ago. He was last seen arriving at work Monday morning.

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