Across Syria, thousands defy ban on unlicensed protests
Thousands of people were heading to the restive Syrian city of Daraa on Friday to break a military siege, opposition groups said, DPA reported.
Protests were also underway in the capital, Damascus, Homs and other cities, the US-based Reform Party of Syria said.
Gunshots were heard in Latakya while in the town of Deir el-Zour, one confirmed online video showed security forces beating protesters with batons.
Activists are demanding justice for the deaths of hundreds of protesters in the past several weeks of unrest.
Although President Bashar al-Assad signed into effect the suspension of the country's emergency law, the government warned against holding protests on Friday "without taking official license."
The names of 617 people killed are listed on a Facebook group affiliated to the Kurdish Azadi Party in Syria, according to the Reform Party of Syria.
Some United Nations Security Council members have condemned Syria's military crackdown on peaceful demonstrators, resulting in what a UN official said was up to 400 people killed since mid-March.
The UN Human Rights Council is to hold a special session on Syria on Friday. Human Rights Watch urged the council to "strongly condemn repression of peaceful protests in Syria and mount an investigation into recent violence."
Meanwhile, Syria's state news agency SANA posted pictures of what it said were injured security forces who were attacked in Daraa this week.
An Interior Ministry source said "extremist and terrorist groups" were responsible for the attack.