"Syrian forces killed 24 people on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a human rights group said today.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said most of the deaths were in the central city of Hama, the target of a heavy military operation since Sunday.
Protests escalated yesterday, the first day of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
The group said today that yesterday's deaths included 10 people in Hama, six in the Damascus suburb of Arbeen and three in the central province of Homs. Two were killed in the eastern town of al-Boukamal, two in the coastal city of Latakia and one in Maadamiyah, near Damascus.
About 1,700 civilians have been killed since anti-regime protests began in mid-March, according to tallies by activists....."