26 Mar 2011

Release of detainees ordered by Assad

4:05 pm on 26 March 2011

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has ordered the release of all people detained during recent unrest there.

On Thursday, the government said it would consider reforms and examine ways to meet the legitimate demands of people in the southern city of Deraa, where at least 25 protestors were shot dead by security forces on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, gunfire has been heard during a fresh protest march in the Syrian city of Deraa.

Demonstrations were also reported in the capital, Damascus and in the towns of Hama and Tall.

Opposition activists earlier called for nationwide protests after Friday prayers.

The BBC reports the city of Deraa, south of Damascus, has become the centre of a serious challenge to the regime of President Assad.

In 1982, the Syrian army put down an uprising led by the Muslim Brotherhood in Hama.