President Bashar Assad
Photo: AFP
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah
Photo: Reuters
Report: Syrian protesters torch Nasrallah photos
Turkish foreign minister urges 'shock therapy' of reforms as Syrian forces fire on protest, killing four

Syrian protesters in the eastern city of Albu Kamal are torching photographs of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, activists said Friday after an opposition group reported security forces opened fire on a late-night protest, killing four people.


Activists and a tribal leader in the province told Reuters by phone that Nasrallah's speech in Beirut this week in support of Assad infuriated demonstrators.


Gunfire also sounded in the city of Homs, where thousands of protesters gathered despite heavy security, a resident told Reuters.


Meanwhile Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Syria may yet still be able to achieve stability if it carries out a "shock therapy" of reforms.


Davutoglu told Ulke TV late Thursday that Syrian President Bashar Assad can gain the trust of his people if he implements a package of reforms that are far-reaching and include significant political changes.


"What is needed now is a shock therapy," Davutoglu said. "If reforms are brought about now, this would open the way for peace and change."


Many activists in Syria have been opting for nighttime protests and candlelight vigils in recent days, aiming for a time when the security presence has thinned out.


The Local Coordination Committees in Syria help organize the protests against President Bashar Assad's regime. They said the deaths early Friday were in Dael.


Other demonstrations were reported overnight and early Friday in the coastal areas of Latakia, Banias and Jableh, the central cities of Hama and Homs and the northern province of Idlib.


Rights groups say the government's crackdown on dissent has killed more than 1,000 people over the past two months.


Reuters and AP contributed to this report



First published: 27.05.11, 13:00
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