AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian forces shot dead at least four protesters as they were coming out of a mosque in the town of Inkhil in the southern Deraa province on Friday, an activist said, a day after President Bashar al-Assad said military operations had stopped.
"We have names of four confirmed dead protesters in Inkhil and reports of heavy firing on demonstrations by the security forces across Deraa's countryside," Abdallah Aba Zaid, a prominent local activist, told Reuters.
He added that tens were also wounded in the attack.
Despite heavy security across main towns in Deraa's agricultural heartland, several thousand took to the streets in Jasem, Kherbat Ghazalah, Busra al-Harir, Jizeh and Hirak in protest against Assad's rule, residents and activists said.
These towns have been witnessing daily demonstrations since the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, when nightly prayers offer a venue for crowds to gather, they added.
In Tafas, a suburb of Deraa, residents said security forces shot at crowds of several thousand after Friday prayers with reports of several injuries.
Syrian authorities have expelled most independent media since the unrest began, making it difficult to verify reports from the country.
(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi)