Huge protests grip Syria; 6 killed in clashes

Hundreds of thousands flooded cities around Syria in one of the largest outpourings against the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Beirut: Hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded cities around Syria on Friday in one of the largest
outpourings against the regime of President Bashar Assad since
the uprisings began more than three months ago.

At least six people were killed in various clashes,
activists said.

The demonstrations underscored the resilience of the
protesters despite Assad`s relentless crackdowns. Syrian
rights groups say more than 1,400 people have been killed,
most of them unarmed protesters, since mid-March.
The regime disputes the toll, blaming "armed thugs"
and foreign conspirators for the unrest that has posed the
most serious challenge to the Assad family`s 40-year ruling
dynasty in Syria.

Syria-based rights activist Mustafa Osso said huge
protest crowds moved into the streets after noon prayers in
places across the country, including the capital Damascus.

Among the largest rallies was in the central city of
Hama, where about 200,000 people went out in the streets, said
Omar Idilbi, a spokesman for the Local Coordination
Committees, which track the protests in Syria.

Idilbi said security forces killed at least three
people in another central city, Homs, after opening fire.
In separate clashes, three people were killed during a
military operation seeking to choke off the flow of refugees
heading across the border to Turkey, said Rami Abdul-Rahman,
the London-based director of the Syrian Observatory for Human

More than 10,000 Syrians have already taken shelter in
refugee camps in Turkey to escape the violence.

Bureau Report

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