16 Jun 2011

Syria mobilises pro-government demonstration

7:02 am on 16 June 2011

Thousands of supporters of the Syrian government have rallied in the streets of the capital, Damascus.

As anti-regime demonstrations continued in many parts of the country, the Syrian government mobilised its own demonstration of popular support, in which thousands of people turned out in a Damascus suburb to wave a giant Syrian flag.

In the north of the country, however, thousands of people are reported to be fleeing the town of Maaret al Namaan as troops and tanks gather to crack down on anti-government protests.

A BBC correspondent reports the people of Maarat al-Numan fear they may be next for the attention of the Syrian army's troops and tanks, which have been gathering on the town's outskirts for the past few days.