Night demonstrations held in Damascus

2012-03-23 15:01

Beirut - Hundreds of people took part in night-time protests in the Syrian capital, opposition activists said on Friday, ahead of "Damascus, here we come" demonstrations called for across the country.

"Bomb us instead of Daraa, Homs and Hama," cities where hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed in a crackdown on anti-regime protests, the demonstrators chanted in Rukneddin neighbourhood, according to activists.

Mohammed Shami, an activist in Damascus, in an e-mail to AFP in Beirut, said they also gathered in Midan, Barzeh and Jobar districts in solidarity with cities which have been bombed by government forces.

In Jobar, a small crowd flew the Syrian "revolutionary" flag, the colours used for two decades between the country's independence from France and the 1963 rise to power of President Bashar Assad's Baath party.

Hundreds chanted anti-Assad slogans in Douma, a northern suburb, in a video posted online by activists.

"Damascus, here we come" has been aired as the rallying cry on Friday for anti-regime demonstrations across the country on the day of weekly Muslim prayers, as posted by activists on their Facebook page, The Syrian Revolution 2011.

The deadly uprising that has gripped Syria for over a year, at the cost of thousands of lives, has largely spared Damascus but in past weeks the bloodshed has also made its entry into the capital.