Pro-Assad rallies on revolt anniversary

Official media announced government forces had cleared armed terrorists from the northwestern city of Idlib.

Written by Reuters | Beirut | Published:March 16, 2012 1:00 am

Flag-waving crowds took to the streets of Syrian cities on Thursday in an orchestrated show of loyalty to President Bashar al-Assad,on the first anniversary of a revolt against his rule.

Official media announced government forces had cleared armed terrorists from the northwestern city of Idlib.

Opposition activists said soldiers had fired on people trying to stage anti-regime protests and reported evidence of fresh atrocities,including the discovery of 23 bodies,some with signs of torture,near Idlib.

State television showed thousands of people in central Damascus,waving portraits of Assad and flags of Syria,Russia and China. “We sacrifice our blood and souls to you,Bashar,” the crowds chanted.

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