At least three protesters are known to have been shot dead by Syrian security forces in the city of Deraa.
They opened fire at a demonstration against the ruling Baath Party of President Assad.
One witness told the Reuters news agency there were pools of blood and three bodies in the street being picked up by relatives.
Later hospital sources said 10 people had been killed and scores injured.
Protests have also been taking place in other cities particularly in the Kurdish region in the east.
On Thursday citizenship was granted to an unspecified number of Kurds in Hasaka – seen as an attempt to cool resentment at the regime which has been in power for nearly 50 years.
Protesters say they want freedom – not citizenship.