(EYE) BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian security forces, undaunted by the presence of Arab League observers, have killed at least 12 protesters as hundreds of thousands demonstrated against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, opposition activists said.
Five members of the security forces were also killed in a shooting in the city of Homs, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.
Assad, 46, has signed up to an Arab League plan for a verifiable withdrawal of his troops and heavy weaponry from towns and cities, where they have been trying to crush protests that have raged since March.
But the presence of Arab League monitors in hotspots across Syria since Monday has, if anything, energised the protesters, while provoking scepticism in Western countries.
Demonstrators determined to show the scale of their movement to the monitors threw rocks at security forces in the Damascus suburb of Douma, where troops tear-gassed the chanting crowds.
Five people were shot dead in the city of Hama and five in the city of Deraa as crowds braved army and police, the Observatory reported, adding that at least two dozen people had been injured in Douma. More...
Labels: Arab League» Bashar al-Assad» Syria