Syria says armed groups killed 17 during protests

AMMAN - Syria said on Saturday armed groups, which it has blamed for violence at mass demonstrations gripping the county for the past two months, killed 17 people on Friday.
Human rights lawyer Razan Zaitouneh said Syrian security forces shot dead at least 30 demonstrators on Friday during pro-democracy protests that broke out in defiance of a military crackdown which has killed hundreds of people.
Friday's violence came a day after the United States, which had at first muted its criticism of President Bashar Assad's handling of the unrest, told him to reform or step down.