Thousands March in Syrian Cities as Protests Enter Second Month

DAMASCUS, April 15 (Xinhua) — The anti-government protests in Syria have entered the second month as thousands of protestors marched Friday in the streets of the country’s major cities.

The protesters took to the streets of the capital Damascus, Daraa, Homs, Aleppo, Latakia, Banias, Der el-Zour, Qamishli, Hama and others, chanting slogans for reforms, pan-Arab al-Jazeera TV reported.

They also demanded the authorities to release activists who have been nabbed during previous protests.

The security forces used tear gas to disperse the crowds in Damascus and prevented thousands of demonstrators, who marched from the suburbs, from accessing the Al-Abbasiyeen Square near the center of the city, said al-Jazeera.

No casualties were registered so far.

Unprecedented protests erupted in the southern town of Daraa demanding the authorities to release 15 students who had been arrested for writing graffiti inspired by the protests in Tunisia and Egypt.

The protests rapidly spread to other parts of the country and developed into clashes with security forces, which caused the death of some 200 people from both sides, according to human rights organizations.

The authorities announced a series of reform initiatives, including ending the country’s emergency rule, releasing dozens of political detainees and sacking the government, but failed to calm down the mounting protests.


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