Anti-government protesters carry candles during a rally in the north-eastern city of Qamishli
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Syria protests: Soldiers 'will not fire on protesters'

13 May 2011 Last updated at 09:50 BST

A Syrian opposition leader says he has been promised that government forces will not fire on protesters gathering after Friday prayers.

Louay al-Husein told the BBC he and other opposition leaders had been given the pledge by presidential adviser Buthaina Shabaan.

But there are reports of tanks and soldiers gathering in some cities ahead of expected demonstrations.

Jim Muir reports from neighbouring Beirut.