Syrian Forces Shoot at Protesters, 11 Killed

Posted October 15th, 2011 at 12:35 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian security forces opened fire on protesters across country Friday, killing at least 11 people, as the United Nations raised the death toll for the seven-month crackdown to more than 3,000.

Activists say the anti-government demonstrators were killed in areas that include suburbs of Damascus, the central Homs region and the southern Daraa province.

Pro-democracy activists called for the nationwide protest in support of army officers and soldiers who defected from the military to side with the demonstrators.

Damascus has blamed much of the deadly violence that has erupted during protests against President Bashar al-Assad on gunmen or “terrorist” groups.

Earlier Friday, U.N. human rights officials said the death toll from seven months of anti-government protests in Syria had topped 3,000.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that Syria's violent repression of dissent could drive the country into full-blown civil war.

Syria has been facing mounting international pressure to end the crackdown. On Friday, news reports quoted Arab League officials as saying the group's foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation in Syria.