Syria denies anti-gov't protest in Aleppo

Xinhua, July 2, 2011

The Syrian government denied on Friday reports of anti-government protest in the country's second largest city Aleppo and state television showed footage of pro- government rally in the city's downtown.

Doha-based al-Jazeera television said a pro-democracy protest was staged on Friday in Aleppo, Syria's commercial hub and seen as a bastion of the regime.

Activists have said hundreds of pro-democracy protesters swept into the streets on Thursday and security forces have resorted to use force to disperse them.

On Friday, activists said Syrians took to the streets in nationwide protests amid reports of three deaths among protesters in the central city of Homs.

The protests on Friday called on President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

Anti-government demonstrations broke out in Damascus suburbs and northern Idlib province and the city of Hama.

It's hard to verify these accounts from independent sources.

This came after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was "disheartened" by reports of continued crackdown on protesters in Syria and warned the Syrian government is running out of time.

"They are either going to allow a serious political process that will include peaceful protests to take place throughout Syria and engage in a productive dialogue with members of the opposition and civil society, or they're going to continue to see increasingly organized resistance," she said during a visit to Lithuania.