Fresh protests in Syria have led to the death of at least four anti-government demonstrators in the southern town of Deraa, the focal point of unrest against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Other reports claim seven people were killed in Deraa.
Many more protesters were wounded when state security forces fired upon a pro-democracy rally attended by thousands of people after Friday prayers.
Protests were reported in other cities across Syria, despite Assad’s decision to make some concessions, including the replace of the government with a new cabinet, the firing of two of governors, and the granting of citizenship to thousands of formerly stateless Kurds.
An activist told Agence France Presse that people who left three mosques marched into Deraa’s central square but were confronted security forces dressed in civilian clothing who subsequently fired tear gas to disperse them. In exchange, the protesters threw rocks at the police, igniting a violent clash.
In contrast, the state controlled news service claimed that saboteurs and conspirators opened fire on residents and security forces.
Media reports also allege that Duma, a suburb of Damascus and the scene of previous riots and deaths of protesters, has been sealed off by security forces.
A correspondent for Al Jazeera commented: It's a new situation in Syria. We saw thousands of people taking to the streets after Friday prayers, from all walks of life. Young and old, professionals and not professionals, educated, not educated, there were some Islamists, some nationalists. The chanting that was unifying them was a chant for freedom and dignity.
Despite some progress on reforms by Assad, protesters clearly are not impressed by the pace of changes.
Damascus-based activist Mazen Darwish told Al Jazeera: It's not about this problem or that problem. It's about transforming Syria from dictatorship to democracy. To change the constitution, open up political life, to have free press and political parties and lift the emergency law.