1 Dead as Syria Protests Test Ceasefire

Opposition doubts government restraint, though truce seems to largely hold
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2012 5:51 AM CDT
Updated Apr 13, 2012 7:47 AM CDT
Syria Protests Today Pose First Ceasefire Challenge
This image made from amateur video accessed Thursday, April 12, 2012, purports to show Syrians holding Syrian revolutionary flags during a demonstration in Deir el-Zour, Syria.   (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

Syria's fragile ceasefire seems to be largely holding, as renewed protests today put it to its first real test. But one Hama protester was shot dead by security forces as thousands of protesters again took to the streets, reports the BBC, while the New York Times notes that clashes had broken out in scattered areas of the country. Opposition leader Burhan Ghalioun has his doubts, saying officials have their "hand on the trigger," Reuters reports. "While we call on the Syrian people to protest strongly ... we ask them to be cautious because the regime will not respect the ceasefire and will shoot."

"As soon as there is a real ceasefire, people will come out to the streets, demonstrating and demanding" President Bashar al-Assad's exit, says an opposition spokesman. "So I think the regime has to retaliate by opening fire again." Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is preparing a resolution allowing monitors to keep an eye on the tentative peace. While the ceasefire is a step forward, "the world is watching, however, with skeptical eyes since many promises previously made by the government of Syria have not been kept," said UN chief Ban Ki-moon. (Read more Syria stories.)

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