Babylon & Beyond

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SYRIA: Protesters try to topple statue of late President Hafez Assad [Video]

March 25, 2011 |  4:56 pm


In an extraordinary show of defiance, crowds of protesters tried Friday to topple a statue of Syria's late President Hafez Assad, whose family has ruled the country with an iron fist for four decades.

Footage posted on YouTube apparently shows protesters in the southern town of Dara, epicenter of more than a week of unrest, hacking at the statue. Gunfire erupts and the crowds scatter.

Witnesses offered similar accounts of the day's events, but the authenticity of the footage could not be independently verified.

The most widespread protests in decades erupted across multiple cities and towns Friday, prompting a brutal crackdown in which dozens of people were killed, witnesses said.

-- Alexandra Zavis