Syria Frees 260 Detainees as Protests Resume

Bashar al-Assad makes his biggest concession yet
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2011 9:40 AM CDT
Syria Frees 260 Detainees as Protests Resume
Anti-government protesters, left, and pro-government, right, clash after Friday prayers in Damascus on Friday.   (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman)

Syria remains on the brink: Protesters were back on the streets in several cities, a day after security forces opened fire on them, reports CNN. Human rights activists say 25 people were killed yesterday, though the numbers are unconfirmed. President Bashar al-Assad, meanwhile, released 260 political prisoners in his biggest concession yet, notes AFP. He also withdrew his troops to the outskirts of Daraa, which has been the focal point of protests, in an apparent attempt to ease tensions, reports AP.

Assad is considering other moves to keep the Arab uprising from engulfing his nation, including lifting the emergency rule that's been in place since 1963. But it may not enough to satisfy protesters' calls for greater freedom. In the southern city of Tafas today, thousands burned down a police station and the Baath Party headquarters, reports the BBC. (More Syria stories.)

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