BEIRUT (The Blaze/AP) â€” Syrian security forces opened fire Friday on protesters and hunted them down in house-to-house raids, killing about 30 people in the deadliest day in weeks in the country’s 7-month-old uprising, activists said.
An update fromÂ The New York Times, however,Â states that the death toll has risen to at least 40:
Syrian security forces killed at least 40 people on Friday during antigovernment demonstrations across the country, according to human rights activists.
Most of the deaths occurred in central Syria, the most restive region in the country, with 21 people killed in Homs and 14 in Hama.
The popular revolt against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime has proved remarkably resilient, with protests erupting every week despite the near-certainty the government will respond with bullets and tear gas. The U.N. estimates the regime crackdown on the protests has killed 3,000 people since March.
Much of the bloodshed Friday happened after the protests had ended and security forces armed with machine guns chased protesters and activists, according to opposition groups monitoring the demonstrations. Authorities disrupted telephone and Internet service, they said.
The Syrian opposition’s two main activist groups, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordinating Committees, gave figures for the protesters killed on Friday ranging from 29 to 37.
The flashpoints were Homs and Hama in central Syria, where opposition to the regime is strong. Hama is the site of a massacre nearly 30 years ago which has come to symbolize the ruthlessness of the Assad dynasty.