Syrian security forces killed at least 20 people and wounded 35 others, as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators turned out for anti regime protests, activists said.
The deaths were reported on Monday by two Syrian human rights organisations, one of them also saying that hundreds of people were arrested by security forces in Damascus.
"Nineteen martyrs fell on Friday," the National Organisation for Human Rights said in a statement received by AFP in Nicosia. "The Syrian authorities had decided to go ahead and kill protesters during the day marked by demonstrations dubbed 'Your silence is killing us'," it said.
The toll included one person killed in Damascus and seven in the region around the capital, including five in Kiswah and two in Douma, said Ammar Qorabi, who heads the human rights group.
Another three were killed in the flashpoint southern town of Daraa, three more died in the eastern city Deir Ezzor, two others in the nearby town of Bukamal, and one in the western coastal city of Latakia. One person was killed in a village in the central governorate of Homs and another in the flashpoint city of Hama, also in central Syria, said Qorabi, adding that he had a list of names for those killed on Sunday.
For its part, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 12 civilians were killed and 35 were wounded on Sunday -- including 11 whose names figured on the list provided by Qorabi's group. The 12th victim, a young man, was shot dead in Qadam, a Damascus neighbourhood, the Britain-based Observatory said.