Syrian troops fire at protesters after Friday prayers | world | Hindustan Times
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Syrian troops fire at protesters after Friday prayers

world Updated: Dec 16, 2011 23:50 IST
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Syrian activists say troops have opened fire to disperse anti-government protests after Friday midday prayers at several locations around the country, shooting dead at least one person.

The Local Coordination Committees and the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say Friday’s death took place in the restive central city of Homs.

The Observatory says there was also shooting near a mosque in the eastern city of Deir el-Zour but it’s unclear if there were casualties there.

The UN raised its death toll for the Syrian uprising substantially this week, saying more 5,000 people have been killed since the revolt began in mid-March.

Syrian army defectors killed 27 government forces in apparently coordinated attacks Thursday that were among the deadliest by rebel troops so far.

Mass rallies in syria

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians protested nine months into their uprising on Friday, demanding the Arab League hasten its response to a bloody crackdown on dissent, activists said.

The mass protests came after Russia, a longtime ally of Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad, drew a guarded response from Western governments for signs of toughening its stance at the UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 200,000 protested in the besieged central city of Homs alone.

- AP & AFP