Protests in Syria escalated Friday, with reports that some 40 participants were shot dead across the country.
One eyewitness told BBC News that security forces were using live bullets to disperse the crowds. Victims have been reported in Homs and Hama.
According to VOA, Witnesses and rights activists say Syrian security forces fired on anti-government protesters on Friday, killing at least 38 people.
The deaths, which were reported across the country, could make Friday one of the deadliest days since the protests in Syria began in March.
RIA Novosti reported that police used tear gas to disperse protests in the historic Midan district of Damascus on Friday as thousands of people rallied in the south and northeast of the country, Al Arabiya News said. Eyewitnesses said they heard gunfire and other agencies reported casualties.
Meanwhile, Easter celebrations have been cancelled in Syria as a result of the violence.