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Activists: Syrians Stage Largest Protests So Far, 12 Killed

Activists say the July 15 protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime are the biggest so far.
Syrian security forces have killed at least 12 people as hundreds of thousands took to the streets across the country on July 15 in what activists say were the biggest protests so far against President Bashar al-Assad.

In the flashpoint city of Hama, live video footage by residents showed a huge crowd shouting "the people want the overthrow of the regime."

Activists said that at least 350,000 people demonstrated in the eastern province of Deir al Zor.

Witnesses said police fired live ammunition and tear gas in the capital Damascus, killing five people, and in southern Syria near the Jordanian border, where four people were killed. Three protesters were shot dead in the northern city of Idlibm.

Assad, facing the greatest challenge to 40 years of his Ba'ath Party rule, has sought to crush demonstrations.

Rights groups say at least 1,400 people have been killed by security forces since March.

compiled from agency reports