Policeman dies amid Syrian protest

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The Independent Online

A Syrian policeman is reported to have died after being beaten by protesters during a demonstration in a central city.

The state-run news agency SANA said the 32-year-old officer was beaten with sticks and stones on his chest and head during a protest in Homs following Friday prayers that witnessed rioting and attacks on security forces.

Tens of thousands of people also marched in the Syrian capital Damascus in the largest demonstrations to date in the country's monthlong uprising.

Police dispersed them with tear gas and batons.

Thousands of others staged protests around the country, with security forces generally watching from the sidelines instead of launching a crackdown.