Polling stations opened Monday across Syria for municipal elections under tight security, amid fresh clashes in the ongoing nine-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad dpa reported
A total of 42,889 candidates were contesting 17,588 seats across the 1,337 administrative units which make up the country's cities, towns and other municipalities.
The elections started as protests continued in the central province of Homs and other restive areas against al-Assad.
Activists based in Beirut told dpa that Syrian security forces shelled areas in Homs and in the province of Idlib, near the Turkish border, killing one person.
The crackdown on anti-regime protesters has killed more than 4,000 people since the uprising started in March, according to United Nations estimates.