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More protests expected as Syria buries its dead

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More protests expected as Syria buries its dead

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Thousands of people are expected to join anti-government rallies in Syria again as funerals take place for scores of pro-democracy campaigners allegedly killed by security forces.

Activists say nearly 90 civilians were shot dead yesterday as demonstrations against the country’s authoritarian rule were held up and down the country in cities such as Homs, Hama and the capital, Damascus.

The United States and the European Union have expressed their “deep concern.” US President Barack Obama has urged Syria’s President Bashar al Assad to end what he called “an outrageous use of violence.”

Friday was by far the bloodiest day yet in a month of demonstrations demanding greater political freedoms. Protests went ahead despite Assad’s decision to lift the country’s 48-year old state of emergency law.

But opposition groups say the move is futile while the ruling Baath party still has a monopoly on power and thousands of political prisoners languishing in jail, many held without trial.