Five die as protests sweep Syria

The child and three other people were killed in the central city of Homs. Another person was shot dead in Sanamein, a village in the southern region of Daraa, epicentre of protests that have gripped Syria since March 15, they said.

Protests were also held in other regions, including the coastal city of Banias where a witness said security forces fired shots to disperse the crowd. It was unclear if there were any casualties.

A militant reported that a demonstration was held outside a mosque in central Damascus but it was quickly dispersed by the security forces. In Ain Arab, a mainly Kurdish region near the northern city of Aleppo, hundreds took to the streets holding olive branches and chanting, “No to violence, yes to dialogue” and “We are not Islamists or Salafists, we want freedom,” said Radif Mustapha, head of a Kurdish rights group. “No one is calling for the downfall of the regime,” he said.

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