(Reuters) - The government-appointed mufti, or Muslim preacher, for Syria's troubled province of Deraa resigned on Saturday in protest at the killing of demonstrators by security forces.
"Being assigned to give fatwas (religious edicts), I submit my resignation as a result of the fall of victims and martyrs by police fire," Rezq Abdulrahman Abazeid told al-Jazeera television. "When they announce at high levels that (protesters) will not be shot at, we see that the truth on the ground is not like that," he said.
Abazeid is the first Syrian religious leader to resign in connection with the current violent suppression of protest. His resignation follows those of two Syrian lawmakers, both from Deraa, in protest at the killing of demonstrators by security forces.