Hundreds of thousands of Syrians protest - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians protest

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syria is seeing its largest protests in months. Activists say hundreds of thousands have poured into the streets across the country today, shouting for the downfall of Bashar Assad's regime.

The protests come as Arab League observers visit the country to monitor its compliance with a plan to end Syria's crackdown on political opponents.

Despite the presence of the monitors, activists say Syrian forces killed at least 19 people today, most of them shot during anti-government protests.

Other rallies this week have also been met by lethal gunfire from security forces, reinforcing the opposition's view that the regime is only letting the observers in to avoid more international sanctions.

There are also questions about whether Arab League member states, with some of the world's poorest human rights records, are fit for the monitoring mission.

An activist coalition says at least 130 people have been killed since the observers began their one-month mission on Tuesday.

The United Nations says some 5,000 people have been killed since March.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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