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Syrian marchers: Free our men

By the CNN Wire Staff
Syrian anti-government protesters march in the northeastern town of Qamishli on Friday, April 1.
Syrian anti-government protesters march in the northeastern town of Qamishli on Friday, April 1.
  • Women and children stage a rally in Syria
  • Arrests have virtually emptied the village of men
  • Women chanted, "Where are the men of Baida?"

(CNN) -- Women and children from a Syrian village rallied Wednesday for the release of their husbands and fathers snatched up by security forces the day before, an eyewitness told CNN.

The women and children from Baida -- a village just southeast of the coastal city of Banias and north of Damascus -- are protesting the incarceration of men from the community.

It is the latest demonstration in nearly a month of unrest across Syria, and recently there has been a great deal of instability in Banias.

The people marched on the highway connecting Damascus and Latakia, and security forces started shooting to scare them, said the witness, who didn't want to be identified for security reasons.

The women chanted, "Where are the men of Baida?"

The people had been detained Tuesday after participating in protests against the government, and their arrests virtually emptied the village of men.

There was no immediate government response, and the development could not be independently confirmed.

CNN's Yousuf Basil contributed to this report

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