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Syria: Protesters storm governor's office in southern city of Suweida

A protester and a policeman have reportedly been killed during rare demonstrations in the southern Syrian city of Suweida.

Crowds angry because of the worsening economic conditions in Syria stormed the governor's office.

Eyewitnesses say the protesters set fire to the building amid exchanges of gunfire in the Druze-majority city.

Earlier about 200 demonstrators were reportedly calling for President Bashar al-Assad's overthrow.

Syria is in the grip of a severe economic downturn.

This has led to spiralling prices and increasing anger towards President Assad's regime in Suweida, which has avoided the worst violence of the Syrian war.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that a police officer was killed when protesters tried to storm the police station.

A protester was shot dead when security forces opened fire after demonstrators entered the government building, SOHR chief Rami Abdel Rahman told the AFP news agency.

"The governor's office was burnt completely from the inside," said Rayan Maarouf, a civic activist and editor of Suwayda 24, a local website that covers the region.

Several people were wounded in the exchange of gunshots, he told Reuters, adding it was unclear where the shooting came from.

Syrian state media said "outlaws" had stormed the governor's office and burned files and official papers.

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