Syria Deploys Army as Protests Continue
Officials say 12 died in port city of Latakia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 27, 2011 1:58 PM CDT
This image taken from amateur video on March 25, 2011, shows men scaling a monument to tear down a large poster of Syrian President Assad, in the city of Daraa, Syria.   (AP Photo/ Amateur video via APTN)
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(Newser) – Syria's army was out in force today in Latakia, a port city scarred by unrest aimed at symbols of the government, which is struggling to put down an unprecedented nationwide outbreak of protest and dissent. President Bashar Assad's regime has responded by both fatally shooting protesters, and promising reform, and a lawmaker told the AP that he expected Assad to soon announce that he was lifting a nearly 50-year state of emergency. The timing remained unclear.

Syria has been rocked by more than a week of anti-government demonstrations that exploded nationwide on Friday. Syrian officials said the government moved the army into Latakia in heavy numbers by early today. Syrian officials said 12 people had died in Latakia, and blamed the deaths on unidentified gunmen firing from rooftops. Click for more background on the protests in Syria.