Protests rage over Syria; deaths reported
Syrian boys stand behind a fence at the Turkish Red Crescent camp Friday, 30 kilometers from the Syrian border.
June 17th, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Protests rage over Syria; deaths reported

(CNN) - Mass protests unfolded in Syria on Friday, and related unrest reverberated across the Lebanese and Turkish borders in a volatile day that left at least nine people dead.

Rami Abdelrahman of the London-based Syria Observatory for Human Rights said four people died in Homs and one in Deir El Zour during demonstrations in Syria.

Fighting over the Syrian issue left at least four dead in Lebanon, and the number of Syrian refugees now in Turkey is approaching 10,000.

Protests swarmed several towns big and small across the country, including the Damascus area, Latakia, Homs and Hama, where thousands rallied, Abdelrahman said.

There were reports of detained demonstrators and the military deployment of tanks. There were reports of gunfire in Banias, a coastal city, Abdelrahman said.

The government's state-run TV said Syrian security personnel were injured by "militants" in the Damascus suburb of Al-Qaboun.

The Syrian government has consistently blamed the protest casualties on "armed gangs," and the TV report said the injuries occurred when the perpetrators opened fire in Al-Qaboun, just outside the capital.

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