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Activists in Syria say there have been 30 more deaths across the country after security forces fired on anti-regime protests during a national strike.
Activists in Syria said Friday there have been 30 more deaths across the country after security forces fired on anti-regime protests during a national strike, Al Jazeera reported.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that three children were among the dead, including two boys, aged 10 and 12, who were hit by stray bullets in the central flashpoint city of Homs.
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The group said a total of nine people were reportedly killed in Homs, along with two others in the southern town of Deraa. Separate reports said three defected soldiers also died there.
The opposition Syrian National Council said thousands of troops had surrounded Homs, and warned of an impending "massacre."
Arrests were reported in the largest city of Aleppo, and in the capital Damascus.
Friday was dubbed the day of the "Dignity Strike" by protesters who hoped to stage a mass display of civil disobedience, Al Jazeera reported.
Since the uprising began in March, demonstrators have regularly taken to the streets of Syria following Friday prayers.
The fresh violence comes a day after an explosion at a major oil pipeline that services the Homs area.
The state-run news agency said the blast was an act of sabotage by a terrorist group, but activists accused the government of deliberately destroying the pipeline.
Meanwhile Iraq on Thursday offered to use its influence with the Syrian government to persuade President Bashar al-Assad to accept the Arab League peace deal to allow observers into the country, Agence France Presse reported.
Last month Syria was suspended from the Arab League, which also imposed trade and diplomatic sanctions.