Syria: 15 dead in more repression of protests

Syrian security forces killed 15 people March 23 in the city of Deraa, witnesses and rights activists said. Seven were killed when security personnel fired on a group of protesters that gathered after dawn prayers outside al-Omari mosque. Later, about 3,000 protesters from neighboring towns gathered outside Deraa and clashed with an army unit. Syrian state television reported the government fired the governor of Deraa province, and promised reforms. The protest wave in Deraa was apparently sparked after local schoolchildren painted a mural depicting scenes and slogans from the recent revolutions in other Arab countries, and were detained by police. (CNN, FT, March 23)

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