Syrian police fire teargas at protesters

SYRIAN police have fired teargas on protesters in the southern town of Daraa, rocked by a fifth straight day of anti-regime protests, a human rights activist says.

The incident took place near the Omari mosque yesterday, the activist said.

About 1000 protesters had gathered around the mosque and many formed a human shield around it to prevent security forces from approaching the shrine, a witness said earlier.

Syria, which is still under a 1963 emergency law banning demonstrations, has witnessed a string of small but unprecedented protests demanding the end of the ruling Assad regime for one week now.

Daraa, a town about 100 kilometres south of Damascus and home to large tribal families, has been the focal point of the rallies, the latest in a string of uprisings against long-running autocratic regimes in the Arab world.

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