At least 29 dead as Assad speaks on reforms
Several neighborhoods of Damascus and Aleppo, Syria's second city, were shaken Friday by unprecedented demonstrations, joining tens of thousands of people across the country demanding the ouster of the regime.
The regime's forces again fired on demonstrators in "Friday OF the popular resistance", killing at least one and injuring a dozen in the district of Mazze, in the west of the capital, according to a Syrian NGOs.
"This is the first time that the demonstrations spread to uptown," Moaz Chami, from the local coordination committees - the umbrella of the protest movements, said. Relatively unaffected by the revolt, the city of Aleppo saw large demonstrations on Friday.
"We will not back against tanks and guns," chanted demonstrators in Idleb province (northwest) which has seen massive demonstrations. Huge protests reported in Deraa province (south), where one person was killed by gunfire.
In total, the violence killed at least 29 people Friday, including five civilians in the district of Baba Amr in Homs.
In Damascus, days after the announcement of a referendum next week on a new draft constitution, President Assad spoke about reforms, which must be concurrent with "the return to calm." This comment came during a meeting with the Mauritanian Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf.
Mr. Laghdaf was in Damascus to urge Syrian President to "cooperate with the Arab League." The Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, who opposes a "regime change brought by force", is also expected Friday in Syria.