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Thousands Of Protesters Demand Reform In Syria

A wave of protests has been sweeping through Syria in the past month.
Activists and witnesses say thousands of people have been demonstrating in several Syrian cities.

The witnesses say about 10,000 people were chanting "freedom, freedom" in the southern city of Daraa, which has become the epicenter of the protest movement.

Others witnesses say demonstrations have begun in the northeastern village of Bayda and in Douma near the capital, Damascus.

The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisals.

A Syrian rights group said this week that more than 200 people had been killed in the monthlong protests calling for sweeping reforms.

On April 14, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad unveiled a new cabinet and ordered hundreds of detainees released in a bid to ease tensions.

compiled from agency reports