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Syrian activists call for more protests as unrest spreads

Posted by on March 26, 2011 0 Comment

Damascus/Cairo, March 26 (DPA) Syrian activists called for more protests Saturday after dozens were killed in anti-government demonstrations across the country a day earlier.

“We will not stop until our demands are met and will not believe you false promises. We will go out today and every day peacefully until (we get our) freedom,” they said on the Syrian Revolution 2011 Facebook page.

Dozens of protesters were killed Friday when security forces opened fire on anti-government rallies throughout the country.

“The authorities reply harshly to peaceful demonstrations calling for freedom and dignity, as if they want to intimidate the Syrians again,” said opposition writer Fayez Sara.

President Bashar al-Assad’s government Thursday promised reform, including discussing an end to the emergency law which has been in effect since 1963 and announced the release of all activists detained in Daraa, one of the cities at the centre of the protests.

But, despite his efforts to appease growing calls for his ouster, thousands of Syrians gathered for mass anti-government protests, under the slogan Day of Dignity Friday.

Protests in the southern city of Daraa were in conjunction with a funeral for demonstrators who were killed Wednesday.

“If the words we heard from the Syrian government are to mean anything, they must immediately issue clear orders to restrain the security forces to prevent further loss of life,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy director for Middle East and North Africa.

At least 55 people are believed to have been killed during a week of unrest in and around Daraa, Amnesty International said, adding that the circumstances of most of the deaths remain unclear.

Meanwhile, the state-run news agency SANA said that one person died Friday when an armed group attacked the Officers Club.

An official source said armed men attacked headquarters of the People’s Army in al-Sanamein town, near Daraa.

Several gunmen died when clashes erupted between the guards and the armed group, SANA added Saturday.

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