A total of 24 people, including eight servicemen, were killed in Syria over the past 24 hours during clashes between protesters and troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, the Al Arabiya TV channel said, quoting the opposition Syrian Revolution Coordination Union.
According to the report, government troops and the pro-Assad Shabiha militia entered the city of Al-Buseira in the eastern Deir ez-Zor Governorate and opened fire at houses.
Shootouts between protesters and troops also occurred in the western city of Homs, where seven soldiers and one officer were killed, the report said.
Regional and Western media quoted Syrian activists as saying that prominent Arab cartoonist Ali Farzat, whose anti-government caricatures earned the wrath of Assad loyalists, had been badly beaten by Syrian security forces in the capital, Damascus.
According to UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, more than 2,200 people have been killed in the crackdown on anti-government protests in Syria since mid-March.