CAIRO (AFP) - More than a billion Muslims across the world begin observing this week the holy month of Ramazan, a time of fasting and prayers which this year coincides with deadly turmoil in the Middle East. Arab governments are bracing for increased tensions in the region which has been rocked by unprecedented pro-democracy uprisings that have brought down autocratic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. In Syria, where a bloody crackdown on dissent nears its fifth month, authorities fear that protesters will rally against the regime when they emerge from mosques after "taraweeh" prayers. Facebook group The Syrian Revolution 2011, a driving force of the protest movement wrote: "The regime is afraid of Ramazan and the taraweeh prayers," and has called for "retaliation protests". "Syria is bleeding," a message said. In Libya, rebel fighters locked for months in deadly battles with strongman Moamer Gaddafi's regime, told AFP there was no question of stopping what they see as their march on Tripoli. "Yes, Ramazan is beginning but we will continue to fight," said Colonel Juma Brahim, head of the rebel fighters' operational command in the Nafusa region, from his command post in Zintan. "If it's war and we're tired, we'll eat. But if we remain in a defensive position, we will fast. God is with us," said Hatem al-Jadi, a 24-year-old fighter in the western desert hamlet of Gualish, south of Tripoli. But in Cairo, where massive streets protests overthrew the 30-year rule of president Hosni Mubarak in February, demonstrators camped out at the emblematic Tahrir Square suspended their sit-in for Ramazan.