The number of people killed after clashes between police and protesters in Syria appears to have risen sharply.
Amateur footage posted on the internet purports to show Syrian security forces opening fire on hundreds of young demonstrators in the city of Deraa. While figures vary, some reports claim at least 100 people have died.
Wednesday’s violence represents a dramatic escalation in events following nearly a week of protests in the southern Syrian city.
Like elsewhere in the Arab world, much of the unrest in the country stems from demands for greater freedoms and an end to corruption.
For the moment, Syria’s Baathist rulers, who have ruled the country for nearly 50 years, appear intent on dismissing calls for reform.
Witnessess in Deraa reported hundreds of troops entering the city late on Wednesday night.