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Syrian media reported 19 police and security force members have been killed in clashes in the southern city of Daraa on Friday.
The turmoil began when unidentified armed individuals opened fire on police and civilians who were holding a peaceful anti-government protest after the traditional Friday's prayer, Syria's official news agency Sana said.
Opposition sources, however, said that police started shooting at the demonstrators first in a bid to disperse their gathering.
The instigators of the mass protest in Daraa call themselves the Syrian Revolution - 2011; they have posted a list containing the names of 14 people killed in today's clashes on Facebook.
Daraa authorities said they have not hindered protestors from participating in the demonstration and took the events under control only when clashes and shootouts began.
DAMASCUS, April 8 (RIA Novosti)
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