Syria troops kill 13, ten in Homs: rights group
Syrian security forces kill 13 civilians, ten of them in the flashpoint central city of Homs, where the death of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi galvanized mass protests, rights activists said, Al-Ahram reported.
Ten martyrs were killed on Friday in Homs, the revolutionary capital of Syria, including eight who took part in mass protests across the majority of the city's neighbourhoods," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.
The toll in Homs included two civilians shot dead ahead of the protest by security forces manning a checkpoint in Bab al-Sibaa, the Britain-based watchdog said.
Syria's opposition movement, boosted by the dramatic death of a once all-powerful and defiant Gaddafi and the hope that their country's President Bashar al-Assad may be the next Arab leader to go under popular pressure, called for fresh protests after Friday prayers.
The main weekly Muslim prayers have become a springboard for anti-regime rallies, with thousands pouring out of mosques each week to join in, despite the strong likelihood of brutal action by the security forces.
One civilian died when security forces opened fire on a funeral procession in the southern Daraa region, cradle of the protest movement against Assad's regime, the Observatory's Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
Two other civilians died in the central province of Hama, he said.
Assad has been faced with a people's revolt since March 15, which has been harshly repressed, resulting in the deaths of more than 3,000 people, mostly civilians, according to the United Nations.
"Your turn has come Doctor (Assad)," protesters wrote on their Facebook page, Syrian Revolution 2011.
"Give whatever delay you want, our revolution will vanquish, we will continue to call with all our voice to bring down the regime and to tell the world that the Syrian people will not surrender," it added.