Friday, April 22, 2011

Nearly 30 people killed as Syrian security forces open fire on biggest day of protests yet - 22nd Apr 2011

At least 27 people are reported to have been killed after Syrian security forces fired live bullets at thousands of people protesting for democracy.

Massive protests have been reported in Douma, the central city of Homs, southern city of Daraa and coastal town of Banias, as well as the capital Damascus.

Protesters flooded into the streets after prayers and security forces opened fire as tensions increased.

The protest movement has crossed a significant threshold in recent days, with increasing numbers now seeking the downfall of the regime, not just reforms.

The security crackdown has only emboldened protesters, who are enraged over the deaths of more than 200 people in the last five weeks.

Witnesses said crowds of people shouted: 'The people want the downfall of the regime!' as 40,000 took part in marches in Douma, a suburb of Damascus.

Activists promised that today's protests would be the biggest yet against the regime led by President Bashar Assad, who inherited power from his father 11 years ago in one of the most authoritarian countries in the Middle East.

The president has been trying to defuse the protests by launching a bloody crackdown along with a series of concessions, including lifting emergency laws that gave authorities almost boundless powers of surveillance and arrest. Read More