18 Apr 2011

Further protests in Syria

10:11 am on 18 April 2011

There have been further anti-government protests in Syria, despite an announcement by President Bashar al Assad that a long-standing emergency law is to be lifted.

Witnesses say at least three people were shot dead by security forces in the central town of Talbiseh.

Other rallies were reported in Aleppo, Baniyas, Deraa and Suwaida.

Some 200 people have been killed and dozens arrested in weeks of protests.

On Saturday, Mr Assad said he expected the emergency law to be lifted by next week.

Emergency law has been in force since 1963.

The BBC reports that lifting of the law has been a key demand of the protesters.