Thousands have taken to the streets in Syria Friday for protests, which are expected to be the largest demonstrations in the country yet. As the situation develops, we’ll be following along with live updates here.
SYRIA: 11:00 p.m. (EEST) / 4:00 p.m. (ET), Closing up
We’re closing up the live blog for the day. Thanks for reading.
SYRIA: 10:45 p.m. (EEST) / 3:45 p.m. (ET), 75 dead
At least 75 people have been killed in protests Friday, Amnesty International reported.
The dead included two boys ages seven and 10, and a four-year-old girl, according to activists.
“The Syrian authorities have again responded to peaceful calls for change with bullets and batons. They must immediately halt their attacks on peaceful protesters and instead allow Syrians to gather freely as international law demands,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa director.
SYRIA: 10:00 p.m. (EEST) / 3:00 p.m. (ET), Silence on protests by White House, Syria government television
The White House has remained silent about the violence in Syria Friday, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
So has the Syria state-run TV agency.
Many tweeted about the silence:
SYRIA: 9:30 p.m. (EEST) / 2:30 p.m. (ET), List of the dead
A Google doc is being shared that lists all the “martyrs” who have died in the protest today.
SYRIA: 8:40 p.m. (EEST) / 1:40 p.m. (ET), 70 dead
As many as 70 people have been been killed in Syria Friday, as security forces use live ammunition and tear gas to quell the protests, Al Jazeera reported.
Activist Suhair Atassi says that a four-year-old girl has been shot in the head by a sniper in Barzeh district in Damascus.
Many responded to the deaths on Twitter:
Activist: "The people marched peacefully, they were shot in their scores. It is a massacre, a Good Friday Massacre, and a war crime." #Syria
Good Friday processions and Easter celebrations across Syria were canceled Friday for fear of violent street unrest, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Syria's Christian minority – who number between 1 and 2 million – will not go forward with its colorful commemorations because of the “bad situation,” a church official said.
Church services have not been canceled.
SYRIA: 7:50 p.m. (EEST) / 12:50 p.m. (ET), Syrian State TV accuses foreign media of inciting the situation
Syrian State TV has an ongoing live talk show now, where they are accepting phone calls, Al Jazeera reported. They are accusing the foreign media of inciting the situation, naming Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and BBC Arabic.
The interior ministry earlier called Syria’s protests an “armed revolt” undermining security in the country.
SYRIA: 7:17 p.m. (EEST) / 12:17 p.m. (ET), 40 dead, in bloodiest day yet
Protesters are reporting 40 killed by security forces, the highest daily death toll since demonstrations began in Syria five weeks ago, BBC reported.
SYRIA: 6:50 p.m. (EEST) / 11:50 a.m. (ET), 22 dead
At least 22 people have reportedly been killed in Syria, Al Jazeera reported.
SYRIA: 6:35 p.m. (EEST) / 11:35 a.m. (ET), Kurdish demonstrators chant “Syrian people are one”
In the northern Syrian cities of Qamishli and Amouda, about 6,000 to 8,000 mainly Kurdish demonstrators are chanting for freedom and their rejection of sectarianism, Al Jazeera reported.
“Syrian people are one,” they chanted, holding up signs reading, “Arabs and Kurds are brothers.”
No army or security forces intervened in the protest. Although President Assad recently granted to new citizenship to thousands of Kurds, they are protesting for greater freedoms.
On Twitter, however, many tweeted that they did not believe the Syrian people were acting “as one”:
Christians and well off traders are not pro regime, they're pro stability. Prove them no future chaos and they'll turn their backs in a sec
SYRIA: 6:35 p.m. (EEST) / 11:35 a.m. (ET), Footage emerges from protests
This video gives a sense of the chaos in Damascus today:
SYRIA: 6:20 p.m. (EEST) / 11:20 a.m. (ET), Death toll continues to rise
In the southern village of Izraa, a doctor says there are 10 bodies at the hospital, and he believes more are kept at people's homes, Al Jazeera reported. The small hospital cannot cope with the high number of injured, he says.
In the southwestern city of Daraa, thousands are demonstrating as many pour in from nearby villages.
Five people have been killed in a demonstration in Zamalka, a town in the countryside surrounding Damascus, six people killed in Hajar al-Aswad, a poor neighborhood in central Damascus, four in Qaboun, a suburb to the north of Damascus, three in the Damascus suburb of Douma, and one in neighboring Harasta.
SYRIA: 6:00 p.m. (EEST) / 11:00 a.m. (ET), “I love you Syria”
SYRIA: 5:30 p.m. (EEST) / 10:30 a.m. (ET), Ahram poll finds readers support protesters
In a poll on the Egyptian news Web site Ahram, in which readers were asked their position on the protests in Syria, 75 percent fully supported the protesters and believed the president should go, 12 percent supported the protesters but thought the regime could stay, 7 percent fully supported the president and believed the protesters were gone, and the rest were uncertain.
SYRIA: 5:00 p.m. (EEST) / 10:00 a.m. (ET), 20 dead in Syria
Security forces are said to have killed at least 20 protesters throughout the country, according to Al Jazeera.
SYRIA: 4:35 p.m. (EEST) / 9:35 a.m. (ET), 14 people dead in city of Homs
Fourteen people have been killed in the western city of Homs alone, Al Jazeera reported. Homs is 100 miles north of the capital.
An eyewitness described how a group of around 200 protesters, walking ahead of the main group of around 3,000 protesters, came under fire as they marched down Cairo Street in Homs.
“Suddenly the security opened fire on us randomly,” he said.
On Twitter, online activists continued to tweet from the ground:
almost protests all over Syria and heavy fire in most places #Syria many wounded many die
SYRIA: 4:10 p.m. (EEST) / 9:10 a.m. (ET), More footage of protests emerges
This video is said to be from a district in the Syrian capital of Damascus. Al Jazeera reports that one protester has been killed there.
SYRIA: 3:55 p.m. (EEST) / 8:55 a.m. (ET), Several protesters reported dead
One person has been killed in the western city of Homs, one in the western city of Banias, seven in the southern village of Izra’a, two near the southwestern city of Daraa, two in the Damascus suburb of Douma, and two in the nearby Adra, Al Jazeera reported. We cannot independently confirm these reports.
On Twitter, reports came in of gunfire in the Alhajr Alaswad area and in the city of Hama, of one dead and six wounded in Homs, of two killed in Daraa by security forces, and of six killed in the village of Izra’a by security forces. We are unable to independently confirm these reports.
SYRIA: 3:30 p.m. (EEST) / 8:30 a.m. (ET), Protesters take to the streets
Protesters took to the streets in the capital of Damascus, Daraa, Qamishli, and Hasakah, and were expected in some 40 cities, Al Jazeera reported.
At least three protesters were injured when Syrian forces fired live rounds at a demonstration in the Damascus suburb of Douma, Reuters reported.
“Thousands took to the streets in Douma. I helped carry three people the bullets hit in the leg,” the witness said.
Security forces also used teargas to disperse protesters in the Damascus district of Midan, according to Reuters.
A witness told Al Jazeera that demonstrators gathering at a mosque after prayers in the northeast area of Al Hasakah were attacked by government supporters.
SYRIA: 3:30 p.m. (EEST) / 8:30 a.m. (ET), Footage of the protests emerges
This video is said to show the beginning of protests in Damascus:
Footage also emerged that is said to show protesters stomping on a statue of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad:
SYRIA: 3:30 p.m. (EEST) / 8:30 a.m. (ET), Reports come in from online activists on Facebook and Twitter
Online activists continued to share information about where and when to protest on the Syrian Revolution Facebook page, and on Twitter.
The Twitter account @SyRevoSlogans offered slogans for the protests, while others shared first hand accounts and sent around video.
Follow our Syria twitter list here.