AMMAN - Syrian security forces shot dead three civilians in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor on Thursday, residents said, in a new effort to try to crush widening Sunni Muslim unrest against President Bashar 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.
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.