BEIRUT -- Syrian security forces moved against several schools around the country yesterday and detained students who demonstrated against President Bashar Assad's regime, while troops shot dead at least four people in central Syria, activists said.
The Local Coordination Committees, an activist network, said dozens of students were detained in the southern village of Jassem. Also, security forces surrounded several schools in the Damascus suburbs of Harasta, Arbeen and Zamalka.
Students have been demonstrating against Assad's regime since Sunday, the first day of the school year.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security forces killed three civilians in the central city of Homs and one in the nearby town of Rastan. It reported that the bodies of three other people who disappeared last week were either found or handed to their families by authorities in the northern province of Idlib and the central region of Hama.
"We never wanted things to arrive at this point, but unfortunately, the Syrian administration has forced us to take such a decision," state-run Anatolia news agency quoted Erdogan as saying.
The Syrian uprising began in mid-March, during the wave of protests in the Arab world that toppled autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. President Bashar Assad has responded with a brutal crackdown that the UN estimates has killed 2,600 people.