BEIRUT - At least three protesters were shot dead by Syrian security forces on Friday on the second day of a nationwide ceasefire meant to restore peaceful political dialogue after 13 months of extreme violence, opposition activists said.
The shootings occurred as demonstrators rallied against President Bashar Assad, who has accepted the terms of the United Nations-brokered ceasefire which took effect on Thursday.Syrians took to the streets across the country in small demonstrations after Friday's Muslim prayers, trusting that the two-day-old ceasefire would protect them from the army bullets that have frightened off peaceful protesters for months.
Activists said state security forces were out in strength to block streets in many cities to prevent protesters forming major anti-Assad rallies.
One person was killed as marchers tried to converge on a central square in the city of Hama. Security forces shot one person dead as worshipers left a mosque in the town of Nawa in the southern Deraa province, where the uprising began.