Anti-Assad protest in Syrian city of Hama 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
At least four people were killed on Friday as Syrian security forces fired at demonstrators throughout the country. Two people were shot dead in the southern city of
Deraa, one was killed in Latakia and another in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor.
Thousands took to streets across the country after Friday prayers to
demand the downfall of President Bashar Assad, witnesses and activists
said. Several other people were injured during the clashes.
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"They are firing at demonstrators in alleyways and people
are running for cover. Protesters have been trying to avoid heavy
security in main streets," a resident of Deraa, a technician who gave
his name as Ayman, told Reuters by phone. Security forces also
used tear gas to try to disperse demonstrators in Deraa, witnesses said.
Meanwhile, clashes broke out overnight between military intelligence
agents and residents in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor after the
killing of five protesters, witnesses said on Friday.
Syrian security forces shot dead five civilians in Deir al-Zor on
Thursday, residents said, in a new effort to try to crush widening Sunni
Muslim unrest against Assad.
"Mosques are calling for blood (donations) for 14 people badly wounded,"
one resident, a computer programmer who declined to be named, told
Reuters by phone.
"Three tanks and four armored personnel carriers have been deployed in
and around the main square. Thousands of people still went out in a
night demonstration," he added.
Also on Friday, saboteurs "targeted" an oil pipeline near the central city of
Homs on, the official Syrian news agency said, without giving
details of the nature of the attack.
Homs is home to one of
Syria's two oil refineries and has seen large protests demanding the
toppling of president Bashar Assad whose forces have deployed tanks in
On Sunday Assad, from Syria's minority Alawite sect, replaced the
civilian governor of Deir al-Zor province with a secret police officer,
two days after the biggest pro-democracy demonstrations in the province
so far in the uprising.