Clashes at protest in Damascus


Tens of thousands of protesters trying to march on the centre of the Syrian capital, Damascus, have been met with violence and tear gas.

Syria has seen a month of anti-government protests in which about 200 people have been reported killed.

Demonstrations have continued despite President Bashar al-Assad forming a new government and granting amnesties to some of the detained protesters.

Thousands of people have also demonstrated in a number of other Syrian cities, including Deraa, Latakia and Baniyas.

The mass protest in the suburbs of Damascus marks a step-up in Syria’s month of unrest, which has largely excluded the capital.

The unrest is seen as the biggest challenge to Mr Assad, who inherited power from his father in 2000.

The demonstrators in Damascus held up yellow cards, in a football-style warning to President Assad, AP news agency said.

“This is our first warning, next time we will come with the red cards,” one protester said.

Other witnesses said the demonstrators tore down posters of Mr Assad which were passed along the route and called for the overthrow of the president.{jcomments on}