Syrian death toll continues to mount despite no-shoot order
Syrian troops killed three people and wounded several others in the border town of Tall Kalakh on Saturday despite a presidential no-shoot order and an offer of talks. Hundreds of Syrians, mainly women and children, are said to have fled across the border for Lebanon.
Mahmud Khazaal, a town councillor, said intermittent gunfire could be heard across the border in Syria and the refugees had reported security forces were shooting and besieging Tall Kalakh.
The assault came a day after thousands of people took to the streets after the main weekly Muslim prayers for anti-regime protests in the town, which lies about 160 kilometres north of Damascus.
Activists say at least five people were killed in the country on Friday despite an order from President Bashar al-Assad for security forces not to open fire on protesters and an offer of dialogue.
The United States expressed renewed outrage at the bloodshed and French foreign Minister Alain Juppé has blamed Assad for the deadly repression.
Amateur videos showed rallies on Friday in Ibtaa village, near Daraa, where protesters demanded a new president, and in Syria's second city Aleppo, as well as in the port of Latakia.
They also swept the northern, mostly Kurdish regions of Qamishli, Derbassiye and Amudam, according to activists.
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