Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Syrian troops 'open fire' at demo

Syrian President Bashar Assad has blamed 'conspirators' for the wave of protests against his authoritarian rule (AP)
Syrian President Bashar Assad has blamed 'conspirators' for the wave of protests against his authoritarian rule (AP)

Syrian troops have opened fire during a protest in the port city of Latakia, witnesses have said.

Two residents said they heard troops shooting live ammunition. It was not immediately clear whether the troops were firing in the air or at the protesters. The witnesses asked that their names not be published for fear of reprisals.

The protest came shortly after President Bashar Assad made his first speech since the unrest began nearly two weeks ago.

He blamed "conspirators" for the extraordinary wave of dissent against his authoritarian rule, but he failed to lift the country's despised emergency law or offer any concessions.

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