REUTERS | June 21, 2011
Syrian security forces shot dead three people on Tuesday during clashes in two cities between President Bashar al-Assad’s loyalists and protesters demanding his removal, activists and residents said.
The violence followed rallies organised by the authorities in several cities in support of Assad, whose 11-year grip on power has been challenged by a three-month uprising.
Activists said the three were killed by army and security forces when they intervened on the side of Assad’s supporters in the cities of Homs and in the town of Mayadeen in Deir al-Zor province near the border with Iraq.
Syria has barred most international journalists, making it difficult to verify accounts from activists and officials. (Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis; Editing by Jon Boyle).