Unrest in Syria despite President al-Assad’s reform order
A gunfire was heard during a fresh protest march in the Syrian city of Deraa. Rallies were also reported in the capital, Damascus, where there were some arrests, and in the towns of Hama and Tall. Opposition activists cried for a nationwide demonstration after Friday prayers, following a week of unrest.
President Bashar al-Assad made a rare public oath to look into granting Syrians greater freedom as anger mounted following attacks by security forces on activists that left at least 37 dead.
The marchers had attended funerals for some of the 25 protesters shot dead on Wednesday by security forces. The city of Derra, south of Damascus, has become the center of a serious challenge to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Some of the activists started a fire under a bronze statue of his father, the late President Hafez al-Assad, witnesses reported.
In Damascus, hundreds paraded on King Faisal Street chanting: "Peaceful, Peaceful, God, Syria, Freedom". More than 40 people are thought to have been killed in the town in a week of protests, although it has been hard to verify the accounts.