According to AP, Syrian security forces searching for a high-profile defector from President Bashar Assad's regime killed two people after storming a northern village Saturday.
Security forces also killed at least six protesters when they fired at demonstrations that swelled across Syria on the first Friday after the month-long Ramadan fasting period, encouraged by increasing international pressure on President Bashar al-Assad, activists and residents said.
The killings, they said, occurred in the Damascus suburbs of Irbin and Hamouriya, the eastern tribal province of Deir al-Zor, and rural Homs.
Demonstrators chanted slogans calling for international protection after five months of military and police assaults to crush street protests demanding an end to 41 years of Assad family rule, they added.
"The Death or Humiliation" Friday in Syria marked the rise of the death toll into 23 civilians in protests that encompassed most of the Syrian cities. The protests are calling more and more for international protection against the brutality of President Bashar Al-Assad’s security forces.
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross is heading to Damascus for talks with President Bashar Al-Assad on issues including caring for the sick and wounded in the government's crackdown on dissidents.
The ICRC said its president, Jakob Kellenberger, will start a two-day visit to Damascus later Saturday. He also will meet Prime Minister Adel Safar and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.
Kellenberger visited Syria in June. The Red Cross says the latest trip's aim is to review progress following agreements, then to get "enhanced access" to troubled areas and hold negotiations on ICRC visits to detainees.
It says ensuring the sick and wounded have access to care will be "among the particularly urgent humanitarian challenges to be addressed."