Protests break out after Friday prayers in Syria

April 1, 2011 15:28

AMMAN - Protests broke out in three Syrian cities against Baath Party rule after prayers on Friday, Syrian activists said, two days after President Bashar al-Assad termed mass protests demanding freedoms a foreign conspiracy.

Hundreds of people took to the streets in and around Damascus, where security forces fired teargas at protesters in the suburb of Douma, and in the coastal cities of Latakia and Banias, they added.

The presence of security forces and Assad loyalists was heavy around mosques where the protests broke out, the activists said.

"The regime is using a new tactic. It is no longer security forces alone confronting the protesters, but they are just as brutal," one of the activists said.

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