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Violence breaks out as Syrians protest in pro-government city

Angry Syrians on Sunday attacked a public building in a pro-government area as they protested the country's economic woes, a war monitor and witnesses said.

Damascus, 4 December 2022 (dpa/MIA) – Angry Syrians on Sunday attacked a public building in a pro-government area as they protested the country’s economic woes, a war monitor and witnesses said.

The protesters threw stones at the government office in the south-western city of Sweida, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Some youth later stormed the office and removed a picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from the front of the building, tearing it up.

They called for the downfall of al-Assad’s regime, the Britain-based watchdog said.

Other protesters torched a security vehicle and damaged others after security forces started shooting to disperse demonstrators, the monitor added without reporting casualties.

However, a protester said at least 30 people were injured due to gunfire from security forces in the city.

“Security forces shot in the air and in the direction of protesters, injuring at least 30 people,” he said.

The protester told dpa that hundreds of locals had gathered in the city’s centre and in front of the city hall protesting against the worsening living conditions and calling for the regime’s downfall.

The unrest erupted in Sweida, a mainly Druze area that is under the government’s control. Druze, a minority in Syria, are an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Most residents in Sweida are loyal to al-Assad.

The area has seen repeated street protests over economic problems in the past two years.

Syria has been roiled by an 11-year civil war that has wreaked havoc on its economy and sent the value of the local currency tumbling.

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