Dozens Dead in Aleppo Missile Strike as Protesters across Syria Vent Fury at Assad, Hizbullahإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
At least 12 people, including children, were killed on Friday and dozens wounded when three surface-to-surface missiles struck in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo district, a watchdog said.
"At least 12 bodies have been recovered so far and there are more than 50 people wounded," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France Presse by phone.
The Britain-based Observatory said the number of victims was likely to rise, as many people were trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings in the eastern district of Tariq al-Bab in the area of Ard al-Hamra.
In a video posted to YouTube, a billowing cloud of dense smoke was seen rising from the neighborhood at dusk after one of the missiles struck.
The voice of a young man can be heard saying "surface-to-surface missiles," while another yells "Hey guys, come help the ambulance!"
In another video filmed after sundown, moments of panic could heard as men rushed to rescue people from the rubble.
People could be heard screaming "Car car!" to transport the wounded, while others shouted insults against President Bashar Assad.
In the most gruesome footage, which could not be immediately verified, the mangled bodies of the victims, including a toddler, could be seen lying in a dark room alongside others swaddled in blankets.
The head of one of the victims was completely severed.
Just four days prior, 33 people including 15 children were killed in a missile attack on the nearby district of Jabal Bedro according to the Observatory.
Earlier on Friday, thousands of people held an anti-regime protest under the banner of "Raqa the proud on the road to freedom" in solidarity with the embattled province of northern Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the protesters were "greeted by bullets fired indiscriminately by the security forces" in the district of Mishlib and February 23 Street of Raqa city.
"One person was killed by regime forces during the demonstration and three others were killed by snipers in the same area shortly after, but we cannot confirm who was firing," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France Presse by telephone.
Elsewhere in Syria, protesters vented their anger at Lebanon's Hizbullah, the international community and President Bashar Assad with chants, banners and caricatures.
In the Idlib town of Kfar Nabal, which has seen deadly air raids in the past week, demonstrators carried banners to denounce the escalating violence.
"World! Your carelessness produced extremists like Assad. Now, we need extremists to get rid of your products," read an English banner held by men and boys standing in front of a bombed-out building.
The message came a day after a spate of bombings across Damascus, including a suicide car bomb condemned by the regime and opposition, killed at least 83 people in the deadliest day for the capital since the March 2011 start of the Syrian conflict.
In the town of Irbin, just northeast of Damascus, that has been the target of continuous bombardment by regime warplanes, a young boy stopped for a photo during a march to show his message to Assad: "We are coming to get you."
Meanwhile, the Facebook group "Lens of a Young Isqati" showed a demonstrator in the northwestern town of Isqat holding a cartoon of Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah facing Israel and striking matches to light the fuse of a bomb.
But the fuse is facing the opposite direction and the matches land in Lebanon and Syria, where Hizbullah fighters accused to have attacked opposition-held towns and villages from across the border last week.
Despite the ever-rising brutality of the conflict, which has left an estimated 70,000 people killed, demonstrations continue to be held every Friday nationwide.
In the Turkish border town of Ain al-Arab, demonstrators, including young girls and dancing teenagers, shouted for freedom as they held aloft Kurdish flags alongside the Syrian revolution banner in a video posted on YouTube.
At the Zaatari camp in northern Jordan for Syrian refugees, some 300 demonstrators rallied to urge the international community to arm the rebel Free Syrian Army, an Agence France Presse journalist said.
"Oh world, we want arms ... The people demand the arming of the Free Army," they chanted.
Activists identified the missiles as Scuds, but the reports could not be verified.