Troops shoot at Syrian protesters, five killed

Troops shoot at Syrian protesters, five killed

At least five people were killed near the Syrian capital of Damascus Friday when security forces fired live ammunition at anti-government protesters, activists said online.

Four people were also wounded as troops opened fire in the Damascus suburb of Kiswa, according to activists who have been monitoring the protests and compiling lists of those killed, DPA reported.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an online group that has been documenting the uprising, posted a video on its Facebook page that it said was taken in Kiswa on Friday. It showed people fleeing amid the sounds of gun fire.

The protests after Friday prayers have become a weekly occurrence across Syria in the three-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

Undeterred by the armed troops, about 8,000 people from the Damascus suburbs of Saqba, Hamouria and Jisreen took to the streets, demanding that the "regime be toppled."

Thousands more rallied in the northern province of Idlib, where government forces besieged several towns. Gunshots were heard in the central city of Homs, while more than 15 protesters were arrested near the Amnah mosque, in the northern city of Aleppo.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria said earlier Friday that internet and mobile phone networks had been cut in the Damascus suburbs of Douma and Harasta.

Human rights group say that more than 1,300 civilians have been killed and 10,000 detained since the protests began in March.

The government crackdown has led to an exodus to Turkey.

More than 1,500 Syrians crossed into Turkey on Thursday, bringing the total number of displaced Syrians there to 11,739, the semi-official Anatolia Agency reported in Istanbul.

"We do not see them as a group of refugees but as guests," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday, according to Anatolia.

"Whenever they decide to end their stay, we will put forth every effort to help them return to their homes in peace," he said.

"Turkey has exerted great efforts to bring about the fulfillment of reforms and the rightful demands of the Syrian people. Contact with Syria has never been interrupted," Davutoglu said.

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