Hundreds of Syrians, some with gunshot wounds, have crossed into neighboring Lebanon in search of a refuge from the growing violence in their homeland, a Lebanese security official said today. Most arriving at the border came after Syrian security forces opened fire on protesters demanding the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad in demonstrations across Syria yesterday. Syrian activists said 20 people were killed, including two children aged 12 and 13. "Our revolution is strong! Assad has lost legitimacy!" a YouTube video showed protesters chanting.
The Local Coordination Committees, a group tracking the Syria protests, said most of the deaths occurred in Damascus. Others died when security forces opened fire in the central city of Homs, sending residents fleeing to the Lebanese border 20 miles away. The Syrian opposition says some 1,400 people have been killed as the government has cracked down on protests against Assad family rule—prompting thousands of Syrians to seek a safe haven in neighboring countries. Up to 1,000 crossed yesterday into northern Lebanon's Akkar region, near Wadi Khaled, a Lebanese security official said. At least six Syrians with gunshot wounds were among the arrivals, the Lebanese official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.