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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syrian opposition prepares for fresh protests

RIA Novosti

13:19 12/05/2011 MOSCOW, May 12 (RIA Novosti) - The Syrian opposition has announced another day of mass protests for this Friday, Al Jazeera said on Thursday.

Syrian human rights activists say the mass rallies will be held to show solidarity with detained female protestors, who are being "beaten and humiliated" in prisons.

According to media estimates, some 7,000 women have been arrested since protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad began in mid-March.

Earlier this week, as part of the government crackdown on dissent, security forces conducted house-to-house raids in Syria's third largest city of Homs, the coastal town of Baniya, the capital Damascus, and the southern city of Deraa

About 2,000 students rallied against the government raids late on Wednesday in a university campus in Syria's largest city of Aleppo, but the protest was dispersed by police and pro-government students.

Rights activists describe Wednesday as one of the bloodiest days in the unrest, saying 22 people were killed, including 13 in the southern town of Al Harra, which was shelled by tanks.

Syrian authorities claim the protests are organized by Islamic extremists seeking to seize power in the country.



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