The swelling ranks of protesters in the Syrian city of Deraa demanded the end of the cancerous regime of Bashar al-Assad and warned that the country was a bomb ready to explode.

ABC News reported that tens of thousands of people are pouring into the city, which has emerged as the focal point of the anti-government protest after six people were killed in a mosque attack by the security forces.

More than 40 people have already been killed in a week-long protest. Protests did not abate after the government announced political reforms and promised to review the emergency rule in place since 1963.

The government has also said it will prosecute those accused of the mosque killings even as it distanced itself from the outrageous killing. As usual the regime accused external forces of fomenting trouble.

We should not confuse the behaviour of an individual, and the desire and determination of President Bashar al-Assad to move Syria to more prosperity, the presidential spokeswoman said.

An 80-year-old prominent opposition leader who was recently released from prison said the country was ready for revolution. We are like a bomb, it's nearly to explosion, said the leader, Haitham Maleh, according to ABC.

Most of the Syrians' anger stems from the extreme political oppression by the Baathist regime. The numerous intelligence agencies are accused of wrongfully detaining people suspected of disloyalty to the regime.

Maleh said the concessions offered by the regime are not enough. It's up to the people. I think if we will have the same situation like Egypt or Tunisia ... everything will be changed.

The recent spate of protests in Syria, which took inspiration from similar movements in Egypt,
Tunisia and Libya, has leveled the most serious challenge to the Assad clan's grip on power since 1963.

Syria has been under an emergency law since the time president Bashar al-Assad's 's father, Hafez al-Assad, took power leading the Baathist party. Thousands of people have disappeared over the decades as the regime sought to suppress all dissent.