At least 27 people are dead after Syrian security forces opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters across several cities Friday, according to Al-Jazeera.
Hundreds of others were wounded and residents were forced to turn mosques into makeshift hospitals, witnesses and a human rights group said.
Ammar Qurabi, who heads Syria’s National Organization for Human Rights, said most of the deaths happened in Daraa, a restive southern city that has become a flashpoint for anti-government protests. Sixteen people were killed in Daraa, three in the Damascus suburb of Harasta, and one in the central city of Homs, he said.
The government acknowledged violence in Daraa, but said only two people died and blamed armed thugs.
Syria’s state-run television claims that 19 police officers were killed in the violence in Daraa.