14/04/2012 | Printed Edition
BEIRUT — In the first major test of a UN-brokered truce, thousands of Syrians poured into the streets yesterday for anti-government protests, activists said. Security forces responded by firing in the air and beating some protesters, but there was no immediate sign of widescale shelling, sniper attacks or other potential violations of the cease-fire. President Bashar Assad’s regime has cracked down on protest rallies in the past and suggested it would not allow them to resume yesterday, insisting protesters need to seek permission first. Syrian forces tightened security in public squares and outside mosques.