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News Link • Revolutions, Rebellions & Uprisings

Eyewitness: Gunfire, tear gas in Syrian city


DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- Syrian security forces fired tear gas on thousands of protesters Monday in a restive southern city as President Bashar Assad faced down the most serious threat to his family's four decades of authoritarian rule.

Assad was expected to address the nation as early as Tuesday to try to ease the crisis by lifting a nearly 50-year state of emergency and moving to annul other harsh restrictions on civil liberties and political freedoms.

Syria has been rocked by more than a week of demonstrations that began in the drought-parched agricultural city of Daraa and exploded nationwide on Friday, with security forces opening fire on demonstrators in at least six locations. The death toll was at least 61 since March 18, according to Human Rights Watch.

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