Syrian forces kill 13 protesters after Friday prayers


Syrian forces shot dead 13 protesters Friday, activists said, as tens of thousands demanded the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad, chanting “we will kneel only to God.”

Defiant protest marches unfolded across the country despite a military crackdown that has triggered sanctions and condemnation abroad.

These included protests in the cities of Hama and Deir al-Zor, both of which have been stormed in tank offensives launched by Assad during the holy month of Ramadan.

The Local Coordination Committees activists said among the deaths were six in the Damascus suburbs of Saqba and Douma, two protesters killed in the commercial hub of Aleppo, and two in the northern province of Idlib on the Turkish border.

Residents said two people were also killed in Hama, just days after the army completed a week-long assault on the city which became a symbol of defiance to Assad’s rule after huge crowds gathered weekly to demand his overthrow.

“Go, Bashar!” protesters chanted in rallies held in the coastal cities of Latakia and Baniyas, as well as across the southern province of Deraa where the uprising against 41 years of Assad family domination first flared nearly five months ago.

In Deir al-Zor, forces fired live ammunition at protesters coming out of a main mosque, killing one person according to the local coordination committees.

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