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Syrian Protests Continue With End Of Emergency Rule In Sight


One of the Banias protesters holds a banner on April 19, the day the legislature passed a law to end emergency rule.
Antigovernment protests are reported to be taking place in the northwestern Syrian town of Banias despite the government's approval on April 19 of a bill ending Syria's emergency rule after 48 years.

Ending the emergency rule had been a key demand of protesters who have been staging demonstrations for more than a month. The law still had to be signed by President Bashar al-Assad.

However, protesters have been increasingly demanding Assad's ouster.

Human rights activists say more than 200 people have been killed since the protests began.

The repealing of the emergency rule came hours after security forces fired shots at protesters in the country's third-largest city of Homs.

The Interior Ministry has said the unrest now amounted to an "armed insurrection" and warned that the activities of what it described as terrorist groups will not be tolerated.

compiled from agency reports