Thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Damascus and other Syrian cities for “Great Friday” protests, which activists hope will be the largest protests to date against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Al Jazeera reports. The rallies were a test of Assad’s decision this week to lift Syria’s 48-year emergency law but security forces have already opened fire on demonstrators. Witnesses say three protesters have been killed in Damascus and three have died in Homs, where at least 20 people were killed in protests earlier this week.
More than 220 protesters have been killed since anti-government demonstrations began last month in the city of Daraa.
Syria’s Christian minority – which makes up about 5% of the population – has cancelled Good Friday and Easter celebrations because of the unrest.