At least 39 people were killed and 70 wounded Monday by Syrian security forces in the southern city of Daraa, pro-democracy activists said, after the army moved into the city where the current wave of protests began, and fired at protesters, witnesses said to Alarabia net and Sham TV.
Syria has banned nearly all foreign media and restricted access to trouble spots since the uprising began, making it nearly impossible to get independent assessments.
Earlier, locals reported about heavy shooting in Daraa. There have been reports that an unknown number of people shot dead and their bodies were lying in the streets. Other rights activists said there were raids Monday in the towns of Douma and Al-Muadamiyah near the capital of Damascus.
More than 300 people have been killed across the country since the uprising began five weeks ago. But the relentless crackdowns have only served to embolden protesters, who started with calls for modest reforms but are now increasingly demanding Assad's downfall,Abdel Rahman, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told Alarabia.
"We need international intervention. We need countries to help us," shouted a witness in Daraa.
An influential body of international judges and lawyers called for Bashar al-Assad and his lieutenants to be held to account for Easter weekend attacks in which troops and militamen fire on civilians,those ordering and carrying out these attacks, including those firing live rounds into crowds, must be held criminally accountable," the International Committee of Jurists (ICJ) said in a statement,,freeSyria site reported.