Report:

Tens of thousands rally in Syria; troops open fire

Associated Press
FILE- In this Friday, July 22, 2011, a citizen journalism image made on a mobile phone and provided by Shaam News Network, Syrian anti-regime protesters gather during a rally in al-Assy square in the western city of Hama, Syria. The Arabic on banner reads:"we will never forget our martyrs and prisoners." Activist Ibrahim Qashoush's lyrics moved thousands of protesters in Syria who sang his jaunty verses at rallies, telling President Bashar Assad, "Time to leave." So when his body was dumped in the river flowing through his hometown, his killers added an obvious message: His throat was carved out.  Qashoush's slaying underlines how brutal Syria's turmoil has become as authorities try to crush a persistent uprising. His fellow activists are convinced he was killed by security forces and fear it could mark a new campaign to liquidate protest leaders.(AP Photo/Shaam News Network, File) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS HANDOUT PHOTO
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FILE- In this Friday, July 22, 2011, a citizen journalism image made on a mobile phone and provided by Shaam News Network, Syrian anti-regime protesters gather during a rally in al-Assy square in the western city of Hama, Syria. The Arabic on banner reads:"we will never forget our martyrs and prisoners." Activist Ibrahim Qashoush's lyrics moved thousands of protesters in Syria who sang his jaunty verses at rallies, telling President Bashar Assad, "Time to leave." So when his body was dumped in the river flowing through his hometown, his killers added an obvious message: His throat was carved out. Qashoush's slaying underlines how brutal Syria's turmoil has become as authorities try to crush a persistent uprising. His fellow activists are convinced he was killed by security forces and fear it could mark a new campaign to liquidate protest leaders.(AP Photo/Shaam News Network, File) EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO SALES, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS HANDOUT PHOTO

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian troops have fired live ammunition and tear gas on protesters in several cities around the country as tens of thousands are demonstrating, demanding the regime's ouster.

Activists say troops fired Friday in the Mediterranean town of Latakia and fired tear gas in several other places. There was no immediate word on casualties. The activists also say troops are beating up protesters in Banias.

There are also marches in the countryside around Damascus despite an intense crackdown there in the past few days.

Opposition groups have dubbed Friday's protests "Your silence is killing us."

It's an attempt to mobilize sections of the population that have not yet joined the protests and Arab leaders who remain silent on the crackdown against Syria's uprising.

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