London Guardian 
April 9, 2011
Anti-government demonstrations have spread across Syria with the highest turnout yet in a month of unrest, despite a heavy crackdown by security forces in Deraa in which at least 22 people were reported killed.
Residents in Deraa said troops opened fire on thousands of protesters, and ambulances were prevented from reaching the scene.
A man who helped carry the dead and wounded to hospital said he had seen security forces shooting live ammunition. “My clothes are soaked with blood,” he told the Associated Press, asking to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.
LFriday night the death toll around the country was rising, with activists reporting more and more citizens taking to the streets.
Demonstrators are calling for President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for nearly 40 years, to step down. Assad has made a series of concessions to quell the violence, including sacking his cabinet and firing two governors, but protesters say he has not gone far enough.