Thousands Protest Assad in Damascus

    A rebel from the Abu Suleiman's group of fighters detonates a bomb under a pipe in order to cut access to their mountainous stronghold in the northern Syrian province of Idlib on March 20, 2012. Abu Suleiman, who finances the weapons for the unit which carries his name, has assembled one of the multitude of armed groups fighting the regime. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC LAFARGUE (Photo credit should read FREDERIC LAFARGUE/AFP/Getty Images)

    Frederic Lafargue, AFP / Getty Images

    After months of bloodshed, tens of thousands of Syrians protested the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad, spilling into the streets to demand his ouster. The protesters promised to storm the capital city of Damascus even as security forces used tear gas and gunfire to stop the people from organizing. At the same time, the European Union stepped up pressure on Assad and family, freezing their assets in Europe and banning them from traveling to EU countries. The international community has been trying to halt the regime’s brutal crackdown on dissidents in which an estimated 8,000 have been killed. Human-rights groups estimate that another 23 were killed on Friday.

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