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Syria "dignity" demonstrations end in bloodshed

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Syria "dignity" demonstrations end in bloodshed

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Grainy images from the internet have shown protests that are the biggest threat yet to the authority of Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad.

Reports from Deraa, near the border with Jordan, say at least four people were killed and hundreds more injured in a crackdown by security forces.

Demonstrations were also held in Damascus and in other towns, answering a call made on a social network site for a so-called “Day of Dignity.” The demand is for more freedom and democracy.

Syria’s ruling elite has indicated a belief that it is immune from uprisings sweeping the Arab world, citing economic liberalisation and a hardline against Israel. Latest events may prove it wrong.