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Syrian security forces shot dead dozens of protesters on Friday, rights activists said, the bloodiest day in a month of escalating demonstrations against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
Activist Ammar Qurabi said at least 49 people were killed in unrest which swept the country, mainly from bullet wounds but also from inhaling tear gas. Many more were wounded and around 20 were still missing, he said.
It was not possible to independently confirm the figures.
Tens of thousands of people had taken to the streets of cities across Syria and chanted for the "overthrow of the regime," reflecting the hardening of demands which initially focused on reforms and greater freedoms.
The protests went ahead despite Assad's lifting of the state of emergency the day before. Ending the hated emergency rule, in place since the Baath Party seized power 48 years ago, was a central demand of demons
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