Syrian forces killed seven people Tuesday when they opened fire in several towns to disperse protesters who emerged from mosques on the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr feast, activists said.
The Local Coordination Committees said in a statement that "seven people were killed on the first day of Eid al-Fitr in Syria, including four in the town of Al-Harra and two in Inkhil, in the Daraa province, and one in the (central) city of Homs."
Pro-democracy protests that have rattled the autocratic regime of President Bashar al-Assad first erupted in mid-March in the southern province of Daraa.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights meanwhile reported that "three people were killed and nine wounded when security forces opened fire to disperse a huge demonstration in Al-Harra after the (first) Eid al-Fitr prayers" that mark the end of the holy fasting Muslim month of Ramadan.
The Committees said protesters rallied against the regime after the early morning prayers, that are traditionally held on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, with protests reported in Nawa, Dael and other districts of Daraa.
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It said a "huge" protest was formed as worshippers emerged from the Al-Omari mosque in Daraa and marched to the town's cemetery. Muslims traditionally visit their dead on the first day of the feast.
In the Daraa village of Dael, "children covered in shrouds, instead of (new) Eid clothes, led a protest of some 10,000 people who emerged from the local mosque," the Committees said in their statement.
The Committees also reported massive security deployments in the central flashpoint province of Homs, and that gunfire was heard in the vicinity of the citadel of the city of Homs, where communications were largely cut.
On the last day of Ramadan Monday, 17 people were killed by Syrian forces and dozens wounded as troops and security forces conducted raids in several areas across the country, according to the Britain-based Observatory.
Activists on Facebook group The Syrian Revolution 2011 called for demonstrations after prayers for Eid al-Fitr.
More than 2,200 people have been killed in the Syrian regime's crackdown on pro-democracy protests since mid-March, according to United Nations' figures.