Syrian state television is blaming the deaths of fifteen protesters on armed gangs – after eyewitnesses claimed they were shot by security forces.
At least three people were killed by snipers in the Barzeh district of Damascus. There are reports of five people being shot when government forces opened fire on worshippers leaving a mosque in Kiswah.
The protests in the capital against President Bashar al-Assad continued on Friday after prayers. This was mirrored in other cities including Homs, Hama and Deraa, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets.
Syrian authorities blame unidentified gangs and Islamic militants for the violence, saying they have killed 200 security personnel.