Reports are saying that up to 34 people have been killed in the Syrian city of Hama Friday as massive protests broke out across the country, sparked by the brutal killings of dozens of children by government forces during the ten-week uprising.
The protests are amongst the largest and most fierce since violence broke out in mid-March in the country.
Protesters are determined to end the regime of President Assad, and unconfirmed estimates say around 150,000 people gathered in Maarat an-Numan in northern Syria alone.
In the central Syrian city of Hama, more than 50,000 are believed to gathered, with the Arabic Al-Arabiya television channel quoting opposition activists as saying that a number of people had been shot dead.
The Syrian government has attempted to block all communications to stop protestors from coordinating themselves and to stem growing protests. It has banned all foreign media from the country, and reportedly internet, landline and cell phone connections were blocked in most major cities.
The renewed waves of protests have been sparked as the movement revealed the horrifying truth about how many children had been killed by government forces since protests began. In particular, the plight of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib has caught local and international attention.
Hamza was allegedly arrested and then brutally tortured to death.
Other videos have emerged on sites such as YouTube showing images of children injured and wounded during the fighting.
Human Rights Watch this week published a 57-page report detailing alleged “crimes against humanity” committed by Syrian forces. It included eyewitness accounts of multiple killings of unarmed protesters and the killing of at least 20 prisoners.