Clashes with security forces left at least 11 dead
Pro-democracy protests intensified amid reports that a million people demonstrated against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The biggest numbers were seen in Hom, 100 miles north of Damascus, where at least five civilians were killed when tanks were called in to quell the protests.
Six people were reported to have been shot dead in protests in the Damascus suburb of Mleeha and in the Idlib area in the northwest. There was a heavy security presence in the capital and its suburbs in what is now the fifth month of an uprising challenging the authority of Mr Assad.
The Kurdish population was involved in violent clashes for the first time since the uprising began. Dozens of people were wounded when police and militia used batons and tear gas against protesters in the mainly Kurdish northeastern city of Qamishli, witnesses said.
Rights groups say Mr Assad’s forces have killed more than 1,400 civilians but that the regime is showing signs of losing control.
The civilian death toll is said to be causing a reaction against Mr Assad among the mostly Sunni rank-and-file in the army.