AMMAN - Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad killed eight people across Syria overnight, activists said on Friday, in a sustained campaign to crush street protests against his rule buoyed by the demise of Muammar Gaddafi's power in Libya.
Many of the deaths occurred as a result of attacks on street demonstrations demanding an end to 41 years of Assad family domination that have been breaking out daily after Ramadan prayers that follow the breaking of the fast, they said.
Editorial: Syria’s crackdown
Column One: Syria’s rival hegemons
"Congratulations to the Libyan people," read signs carried by protesters who marched at night demanding Assad's removal in the town of Kisweh, south of Damascus.
"God is with us. The revolution is bringing together the free," shouted demonstrators in the resort town of Zabadani, west of the capital and near the border with Lebanon.
The activists said on Friday seven of the protesters were killed in the city of Hama, which has been besieged by the military since the beginning of Ramadan on Aug. 1, in the countryside of Aleppo to the north, in the northwestern province of Idlib and in Homs, hometown of Assad's wife Asma.
"The best response to Assad is the peaceful street protests we are seeing as another Arab autocrat falls in Libya," said dissident Adib Shishakli, grandson of one of Syria's earliest presidents after independence from France in 1946.
The eighth civilian casualty was a Turkish truck driver killed by a pro-Assad militia on the main highway leading to Turkey in the town of Rastan just north of Damascus, which has been scene of daily assaults to end street protests, the activists said.