Activists say Syrian security forces have fired guns and tear gas at thousands of anti-government protesters in the central city of Hama and killed at least six people.
Several thousand protesters were trying to reach the city's main Assi square to stage a sit-in amid a heavy security presence Wednesday when troops opened fire to disperse them.
Hama-based activist Saleh Abu Kamel told The Associated Press he had the names of six people who were killed and many wounded. The number could not be immediately confirmed.
Activists say they expect a team of Arab League monitors now in Syria to head to Hama on Thursday.