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At Least Four Killed During Protests in Syria

At least four people have been killed after Syrian security forces fired shots at protesters who gathered for massive rallies across the country on Friday.

Rights groups and witnesses say the deaths occurred in the seaside town of Latakia.

State-run media reports say "masked saboteurs" fired shots and threw dynamite at security forces and civilians in Latakia.

There are also reports of deaths in the southern city of Daraa, a Damascus suburb and the eastern province of Deir el-Zour. On Thursday, activists said security forces shot and killed at least two civilians in the province.

Overall, tens of thousands of protesters rallied for President Bashar al-Assad's departure on Friday in what has become a weekly ritual.

The protests got underway shortly after the government announced that "saboteurs" had bombed an oil pipeline near the central city of Homs.

State media reports say the explosion left a huge crater at the site and caused an oil leak.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.