Syria declares end to state of emergency
Syria on Tuesday declared the end to the state of emergency that existed for 48 years, the state news agency SANA reported.
The removal of the state of emergency has been a key demand of anti-regime protesters. The Syrian government also approved the abolishment of the state security court which dealt with the trials of political prisoners and approved a new law allowing peaceful demonstrations - but only if approved by the interior ministry.
Earlier, security forces fired on a crowd of thousands of demonstrators that had gathered in the country's third largest city, Homs. The government also warned that any form of "armed revolt" would be suppressed. A statement from the interior ministry said: "The latest incidents have shown that... armed Salafist groups, particularly in the cities of Homs and Banias, have openly called for armed revolt."
The statement went on to accuse such groups of killing soldiers, policemen and civilians, and of attacking public and private property, and warned "their terrorist activities will not be tolerated".
The authorities "will act with determination to impose security and stability in the country" and will "pursue the terrorists wherever they are in order to bring them to justice and end the armed revolt", the statement cited by SANA said.
The report added that Brigadier General Khodir al-Talawi, his two sons and his nephew were ambushed Sunday and shot to death by "armed criminal groups" in Homs. The corpses "were brutally mutilated by the criminal groups," it added.
Other two Syrian Army Officers: Colonel Moin Mihla and Major Iyad Harfoush, were also shot to death by member of the criminal armed groups in Homs, SANA conveyed.