Syrians Defy Army, Take to Streets
Six die in clashes in Homs, Hama
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2011 9:16 AM CDT
In this image taken on a cell phone May 3, 2011, Syrian men carry bread loaves during a protest against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, in the coastal town of Banias, Syria.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Protesters took to the streets in Syria today, and were met with gunfire from the waiting military. A large number of troops had been deployed across the country in preparation for this “Day of Defiance,” the BBC reports. At least six have been killed, five in Homs—Syria’s third-largest city—and another in Hama. There were also reports of shots on the outskirts of Damascus, and of a huge clash outside a mosque in the center of the city following Friday prayers.

“We were chanting, peaceful, peaceful, and we didn’t even throw a stone at the security forces,” one witness in Homs tells the AP. “But they waited for us to reach the main square and then they opened fire on us.” Someone in Hama, meanwhile, posted a YouTube video of protesters trying to resuscitate a man lying bloody in the streets. In all, dozens of towns joined in the protest, though the New York Times notes that the military-occupied city of Daraa was not among them.