More reported killed as Syrian protests spread

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More reported killed as Syrian protests spread

More reported killed as Syrian protests spread
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Amid more anti-government protests in Syria, security forces are said to have shot dead around 20 people near the southern city of Deraa.

Dozens are thought to have been killed there earlier in the week, though exact numbers are hard to verify.

Demonstrations have also been reported in Damascus, where residents in a suburb of the capital say three people were killed by security forces. Reportedly the protests were broken up.

People took to the streets in at least two other towns as well: in Hama in the centre of the country and in Tel near Damascus.

euronews has interviewed Ghassan Najjar, the leader of a small group called Islamic Democratic Current. He spent several years in jail and was recently briefly detained again.

“To have a satisfactory outcome to the current situation,the President of the Syrian republic must order the police to stop intervening against the population,” he said.

“If the opposite happens, the situation is going to get worse. We’re asking the president to begin a national dialogue between the different parties immediately. Otherwise the revolution will continue, because the people are in a state of insurrection.”

Supporters of President Bashar al-Assad also staged protests in Damascus. Clashes were reported between the two sides.

The government said on Thursday that it would consider political reforms and may get rid of the emergency laws introduced almost 50 years ago.

It has also pledged to investigate the killings in Deraa and release detainees.

A leading Syrian opposition figure based in Canada, Maamoun al-Homsi, called on the international community to intervene to stop “the massacres against civilians by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime”, in a phone call to Reuters on Friday.

The Syrian Minister of Information, Mouhsine Bilal, told al-Arabiya television that the situation was “completely calm all over the country.”