Syrian forces killed 11 people in a raid on a northern town on Thursday, activists said, pursuing a military campaign to crush protests against President Bashar Assad despite new US sanctions and regional calls to end the bloodshed.
They said the killings occurred when troops backed by tanks swept into Qusair, near the Lebanon border, after overnight protests calling for Assad's removal. One person was also killed in the coastal city of Latakia.
Around 14 tanks and armored vehicles also swept into Saraqeb, a town on Syria's main north-south highway that has seen daily demonstrations, and 100 people were arrested by the security forces, residents said by telephone.
Syria's northern towns have been a particular target in recent days of the crackdown on demonstrations calling for Assad's overthrow, inspired by popular revolts against rulers elsewhere in the Arab world.