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Syrian Druze protesters condemn Assad at mass rally

About 2,000 anti-government protesters have rallied in southern Syria and torn down a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad in a city square.

It was the latest protest to grip the city of Suweida. Anger at the government erupted there three weeks ago when fuel subsidies were removed, deepening widespread economic hardship.

The authorities have not yet taken any drastic action against the protesters.

Suweida is in a region mainly populated by the minority Druze sect.

The government-controlled city has escaped the worst ravages of the civil war, but is suffering from an economic crisis like the rest of Syria.

The crowd on Friday chanted anti-government slogans including "May Bashar al-Assad fall!" and "Bashar al-Assad, we don't want you!"


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