Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad delivers a speech to the parliament in Damascus. The president said that there was a foreign plot against the government and that reforms can be instituted., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Syria death toll rises to 75
Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:15PM
Syrians protest in the city of Homs on Friday, April 22.
The death toll from unrest in Syria has risen to at least 75 for the day, making Friday the deadliest day since the pro-reform demonstrations began in mid-March.
Thousands of people took to the streets in the southern town of Daraa after Friday prayers demanding reform, AP reported.
Demonstrations were also held in Damascus, Homs, Douma, and Qamishli.
Syria has experienced a wave of violent protests since the middle of March, but Friday's demonstrations were the biggest yet.
Human rights activists say that over 200 people have been killed in the clashes so far.
The protesters say the government is responsible for the violence. But the government has repeatedly denied allegations that the security forces were responsible for the death of protesters, saying security forces have been given clear instructions not to hurt civilians.
Syrian officials say armed groups and foreign elements are behind the violence.
Friday's demonstration came one day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad signed a decree to lift a decades-long state of emergency -- one of the key demands of the protesters.