At least 55 killed in Syria pro-democracy violence

March 26th, 2011 - 1:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Damascus (Syria), Mar. 26 (ANI): The “Jasmine Revolution” has now spread to Syria, where at least 55 people have been reported killed in clashes with security forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Though Bashar Assad has promised many freedoms and pay increases to his people, it has failed to prevent dissent from spreading across the country

According to a Bloomberg News report, security forces opened fire on protesters in the town of al-Sanamein in Daraa and carried out arrests in the capital, Damascus.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said an armed group killed one man in Homs while another group in Sanamein attacked security forces, who killed several assailants.

Syria is the latest Middle Eastern country to be hit by the wave of uprisings that ousted longtime rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, and sparked a civil war in Libya. Unrest began in Syria on March 15 when as many 200 people took to the streets of Damascus against the Assad government.

The crackdown on demonstrators on Friday came a day after Assad’s political and media adviser, Buthaina Shaaban, said protesters’ demands were “legitimate” and would be met.

The government may lift a 1963 emergency law that suspended most rights, increase judicial authority and prepare a political parties law, she said.

In Washington, the Obama administration has condemned the violence against civilians by Syrian authorities and urged that those responsible be held accountable.

According to the Daily Mail, tens of thousands of pro-democracy campaigners have taken to the streets, demanding freedom and setting fire to a bronze statue of former president Hafez Assad.

In Damascus, protesters shouting in support of the Daraa demonstrators clashed with supporters of President Bashar Assad outside the Umayyad mosque.

In the western city of Zabadani, near the border with Lebanon, several protesters were detained.

In Aleppo, hundreds of regime supporters came out of mosques shouting ‘with our lives, our souls, we sacrifice for you Bashar’ and ‘Only God, Syria and Bashar!’ (ANI)

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