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Protests, violence expected to intensify following Friday prayers.
Activists in Syria said government security forces were on Friday pressing ahead with their violent crackdown on anti-regime protests, with reports of civilian deaths and army tanks entering villages.
Troops reportedly opened fire on thousands of protesters in Deir al-Zour, in the country's east, following Friday prayers at noon. This came after a dawn attack on Kahn Sheikhun in the north.
Media reports say protesters in Idlib, in the north-west near the Turkish border, and the southern city of Deraa were also targeted.
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Al Arabiya television said additional demonstrations were taking place in the central city of Homs, the western city of Latakia and the capital Damascus, where arrests were reported.
At least eight deaths were reported on Friday, with the BBC putting the civilian death toll over the past 24 hours at more than 20.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday urged China and India to impose energy sanctions on the regime of President Bashar al Assad. She also called on Russia to stop selling weapons to Damascus.