Protesters in Homs
Over one million Syrians defied a massive security crackdown and flooded the streets of Damascus and other cities Friday, insisting their protest movement was united and demanding the end of President Bashar Assad's regime, opposition websites in Syria reported.
Rights activists said six protesters were killed by security guards in Halab (Aleppo) and Homs, in northern Syria. According to them, Syrian security forces also arrested scores of worshipers following Friday prayers in Halab. Dozens were reportedly injured in the ensuing riot.
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Elsewhere, tens of thousands were in the streets in the northern Idlib province, in eastern Syria's Deir ez-Zour region and in southern Syria.
Over the past week, the military also has launched a massive crackdown in Homs, which is about 100 miles from Damascus.
On Friday, thousands of people took to the streets in Homs but security forces held their fire, a witness said. The crowds were smaller than last week, he said, and residents set up stone barricades and closed off roads with garbage containers to keep more security forces out.
Omar Idilbi, a spokesman for the Local Coordination Committees, which help organize and document the protests, said he received the names of four people killed Thursday night.
The uprising has grown steadily over more than four months, posing the most serious threat to the Assad family's four-decade rule. Last Friday saw the largest crowds yet, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets across the country.
Human rights groups say more than 1,600 people have been killed in Assad's crackdown, but authorities blame the unrest on gunmen and religious extremists.
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