Nicosia - Tens of thousands of people poured into Syria's streets after Friday Muslim prayers in a "day of rage" against an increasingly lethal crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, activists said.

Mass anti-regime gatherings were reported in the capital Damascus, the central city of Homs, Baniyas on the Mediterranean coast, Deir ez-Zor in the east and Kurdish-majority parts of the north.

Police were already reported to be responding with violence, as demonstrators shouted "down with the regime."

Source: Agence France-Presse