New anti-government protests had erupted in several Syrian cities after Friday prayers, even despite the heavy security.
Witnesses reported that hundreds of people had taken to the streets while chanting “Freedom!” The state news agency reported that protesters had been calling for reforms to be speeded up.
Reports state that security forces had opened fire on the protesters in the Damascus suburb of Duma, and had killed around three people.
Activists had marked Friday as a Day of Martyrs to be honour the dozens of people who had been killed during the two weeks of protests.
President Bashar al-Assad stated earlier this week that demonstrations had been part of a foreign plot.
In a speech that was given on Wednesday, Assad had not announced the lifting of emergency legislation as some analysts had predicted.
However, the president later stated that he had directed a legal committee to look into lifting the unpopular emergency laws.
Backing for Assad’s regime had also been in evidence, with huge crowds joining the officially encouraged shows of support for the regime in Damascus. Agencies