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News Link • Revolutions, Rebellions & Uprisings

Syrian protesters keep up pressure


Several thousand people have gathered in the central Syrian city of Homs, keeping up the pressure on Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, despite apparent political concessions.

Also about 4,000 university students from Daraa and surrounding areas protested near the city's al-Omari Mosque, Associated Press news agency reported.

Wednesday's development came despite a government warning to residents to stay at home, and a day after protesters began a general strike and vowed to continue demonstrations in the city's Clock Square.

Locals described Homs, Syria's third largest city with a population of 1.5 million people, as looking "like a war zone", with all shops and businesses closed for the strike.

Syrian security forces opened fire and used teargas on Monday night to disperse an anti-government sit-in.

Also on Wednesday, Syrian authorities arrested an opposition figure, Mahmuod Issa, in Homs.

"A patrol of the political security services arrested [government] opponent Mahmud Issa on Tuesday night in Homs after he gave an interview to Al Jazeera," Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

In his interview, Issa spoke of the death of General Abdo Khodr al-Tellawi in Homs and asked Syrian authorities to investigate and arrest the perpetrators.

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