72 Dead as Thousands Protest in Syria for Foreign Actionإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Thousands of people opposed to President Bashar Assad protested in Syrian towns on Friday to urge the international community to act to halt the regime's bloody repression of their uprising.
Following a nationwide theme, protesters demanded justice for the victims of a regime crackdown in Daraya, a Damascus town where more than 500 people were reportedly killed in late August in the worst massacre of the uprising.
"Daraya will not kneel. Not by tank or gun. We sacrifice our blood and souls for you," chanted protesters in the rebel-held northwestern town of Binnish, waving revolutionary flags.
They also carried a sign reading: "No to sectarianism, no to division", at a time when residents and activists have reported simmering tensions between religious communities in the strife-torn country.
In Kfar Nabal, a town in the northwestern Idlib province, demonstrators held a sign reading: "It is not a civil war. It's a genocide. Leave us to die, but do not lie".
They also contrasted the toll of hurricane Sandy in the United States with that of the 19-month uprising, using the name of Assad's mother, with a sign reading: "Sandy: 90 victims -- Anissa: 40,000 victims".
In Damascus, despite ongoing violence, protests calling for Assad's ouster took place in the districts of Rokn Eddin, Assali, Qaboon, and in the nearby town of Babila, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), a network of activists on the ground, reported that air strikes targeted worshipers as they exited mosques in the town of Zamalka, just outside the capital.
Demonstrators traditionally gather at mosques to begin the weekly protests following the Muslim day of prayer.
Other slogans referred to recent statements by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has denounced the rise of extremism in Syria, accusing the Islamists of "hijacking" the uprising.
"Clinton: our radicalism, if it exists, is the result of your lies," read one sign carried at a protest in the town of Hass in Idlib, as seen in video posted by activists on the Internet.
The Observatory said 72 people were killed in violence across the country.