Friday, 14 October 2011

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DAMASCUS: Syria forces killed 10 people on Friday as they fired on rallies supporting army defectors opposed to a crackdown that the UN said has killed more than 3,000 people.

"Ten demonstrators were killed today," Rami Abdel Rahman of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The toll included seven in Dael on the outskirts of Daraa, a flashpoint town in the south; a demonstrator in Saqba on the outskirts of Damascus, one in al-Qadam neighbourhood of Damascus and another on the outskirts of Aleppo.

"There were massive demonstrations in several Syrian cities despite a significant deployment of security forces," Rahman said, including a rally in Deir Ezzor, "the largest since military operations ended there in August."

Syrians also staged demonstrations in the northwestern province of Idlib, the central region of Homs, the coastal city of Latakia and Damascus, the Observatory said.

Pro-democracy activists called for nationwide demonstrations on Friday in support of "free soldiers" -- a reference to defectors -- after 36 people, including 25 soldiers, were killed in clashes across the country on Thursday.

"The free men of the army do not kill the free men of the people who are calling for their freedom," The Syrian Revolution 2011, a motor of protests, said.

The Observatory has reported mounting armed resistance to security forces. Clashes in Banash and Daraa on Thursday pitted troops against deserters, who apparently mutinied rather than obey orders to shoot civilian protesters.

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