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Syria: ‘Friday of Dignity’ Protests Erupt Countrywide

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

Massive protests broke in several cities in Syria today in response to calls for a “Friday of Dignity” after a brutal governmental crackdown left dozens of protesters dead in the southern city of Daraa and nearby villages.

Today the world was mesmerized by videos of Syrian protests many though would never happen, especially after an earlier call for protest on 5 February failed to bring anyone to the streets. The following video was taken in Hama–where in 1982 the Syrian Army massacred around 10,000 people to squash a Muslim Brotherhood uprising–and you can hear protesters chanting “Freedom!” and “we sacrifice our souls and blood for Daraa.”

Daraa in turn saw its largest protests to date. Protesters chanted “a traitor attacks his own people.”

Eyewitness reported and uploaded extremely graphic videos of a massacre in As Sanamayn, a town near Daraa, as people marched in an attempt to break the siege security forces had set up around Daraa entrances. At least 20 are reported dead.

Thousands protested in the main square in Homs declaring that there will be “no fear after today.”

Twitter user @AnonymousSyria ventured into the Grand Mosque in Aleppo where he managed to record security forces violently dispersing a protest attempt:

Meanwhile in Damascus, several protests took place in different locations in the city as well as nearby by suburbs and towns. In the video below, crowds gathering by Al-Rifai Mosque in Damascus chanted “God, Syria, Freedom only!” and demanded the government lifts the Daraa siege.

Damascus and a few other locations also witnessed pro-government protests and car processions. Government officials haven't commented publicly on today's protest yet and the Minister of Information assured the media that the situation is calm around the country. Several people were reportedly killed in Daraa, Latakia, Zabadani among others.

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

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