Syrian Security Forces Open Fire; 15 Killed

Witnesses say at least 15 Syrian protesters have been killed during clashes with security forces.

BEIRUT – Witnesses say at least 15 Syrian protesters have been killed during clashes with security forces.

Security forces fired live bullets and tear gas Friday at tens of thousands of people shouting for freedom and democracy in several areas across the country.

Syrian man sits inside bus as he looks

Witnesses said they saw at least five corpses at the Hamdan hospital outside the capital. All suffered gunshot wounds.

In the southern province of Daraa, other witnesses said at least 10 people were killed when protesters marched in front of the mayor's office. They said an 11-year-old boy was among the dead.

The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Security forces have launched a deadly crackdown on a monthlong uprising against Syria's authoritarian regime. More than 200 people have been killed.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BEIRUT (AP) — Witnesses say at least five Syrian protesters have been killed during clashes with security forces.

Security forces fired live bullets and tear gas Friday at tens of thousands of people shouting for freedom and democracy in several areas across the country.

In this citizen journalism image made on a mobile phone and acquired by the AP, Syrian anti-government protesters carry a banner in Arabic that reads: "No Rifaat and no Khaddam, we want a step forward," referring to Rifat Assad, an exiled Syrian opposition figure and uncle of the current President and former Vice President Abdul-Halim Khaddam

Witnesses said they saw at least five corpses at the Hamdan hospital outside the capital. All suffered gunshot wounds.

The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Security forces have launched a deadly crackdown on a monthlong uprising against Syria's authoritarian regime. More than 200 people have been killed.

AP