At least 11 killed in Syria demos


At least 11 protesters were killed by security forces during massive demonstrations on Friday across Syria, witnesses and activists told AFP in telephone interviews.

Security forces opened fire with live rounds to disperse protesters who took to the streets in several cities across Syria in response to calls for “Good Friday” rallies, the sources said.

At least eight people were killed in the town of Ezreh, in the southern province of Daraa, epicentre of pro-reform and anti-regime protests that broke out in mid-March, the sources said.

One person was killed in Hirak, also in the Daraa region, while two died in the northern Damascus suburb of Douma, the sources added.

Thousands of protesters swarmed the mainly Kurdish city of Qamishli in northeastern Syria, while demonstrations also shook the city of Daraa and Banias in the north.

The protests come despite decrees issued on Thursday by President Bashar al-Assad scrapping nearly five decades of draconian emergency rule and abolishing state security courts that operated outside the normal judicial system to try people seen challenging the regime.

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