anti-Assad protest in Deir al-Zor 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
AMMAN - Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad fired live ammunition to disperse protests demanding his removal on Friday in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor and the southern Hauran Plain, activists said, as demonstrations broke out across the country.
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A demonstration in Takaya Street in Deir al-Zor, where one protester was killed two days ago, came under fire after Friday prayers, they said.
A similar attack occurred on crowds at several mosques in and around the
southern city of Deraa, the Syrian Revolution Coordinating Union said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties. Syrian authorities have
expelled independent journalists from the country or banned them from
working, making verifying events on the ground difficult.
Assad, from the minority Alawite sect in a nation that is predominantly
Sunni Muslim, told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week that
military and police operations, which intensified since the start of the
holy month of Ramadan this month to crush a five-month uprising against
Assad's rule, had stopped.