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Six killed in protest crackdown in Syria

Six killed in protest crackdown in Syria
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Six people are said to have been killed and dozens more wounded in Syria after security forces opened fire on protesters.

Residents say the shooting happened at the Omari mosque in the southern city of Deraa, which has been the focal point of a string of small but unprecedented rallies calling for the end of the ruling Assad regime.

The demonstrations have also reportedly spilled over into nearby towns. Eyewitnesses reported gatherings of hundreds of people. They said they were dispersed by the security forces.

Local sources say ten people have been killed in clashes with the security forces during six days of demonstrations. The ruling Baath Party has banned opposition parties and enforced emergency laws since 1963. But there are now popular calls for political freedom and an end to corruption.