Troops kill 19 in Syria
Syrian security forces killed 19 civilians yesterday, ten of them in the flashpoint central city of Homs, where the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi galvanised mass protests, rights activists said.
"Ten martyrs were killed in Homs, the revolutionary capital of Syria, including eight who took part in mass protests across the majority of the city's neighbourhoods," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.
The toll in Homs included two civilians shot dead ahead of the protest by security forces manning a checkpoint in Bab al-Sibaa, the Britain-based watchdog said.
The main weekly Muslim prayers have become a springboard for anti-regime rallies, with thousands pouring out of mosques each week to join in, despite the strong likelihood of brutal action by the security forces.