Syrian security forces shot dead 10 civilians and wounded 40 others who were holding a peaceful protest in the flashpoint eastern city of Deir Ezzor on Tuesday, a rights group said.
"An Observatory activist in Deir Ezzor said what he witnessed today was a real massacre," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement sent to AFP in Nicosia.
"Most of the martyrs were youths who were demonstrating peacefully and in a civilised manner," the Britain-based group added.
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The Observatory said another two civilians were killed by security forces' gunfire in the central city of Homs, a bastion of resistance to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
In the northwestern province of Idlib, a soldier who tried to desert the regular army was "killed by his officer in the middle of Al-Wahda square in the town of Iblin," said the rights group.
In Douma, on the northern outskirts of Damascus, more than 10,000 people attended the funeral of a dissident soldier who was killed on Monday, before all but about 100 of them were dispersed by the security forces, it added.
The United Nations estimated last month that more than 5,000 people have died in the regime crackdown on dissent since March.