Syrian forces kill 3; tens of thousands protest

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BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian activists say government troops have killed three more people in the northwest while tens of thousands have taken to the streets in the country's east, shouting for President Bashar Assad to leave office.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, the London-based director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says the three were killed during a military operation early Friday in the Jabal al-Zawiya region near the Turkish border.

Syria-based rights activist Mustafa Osso says tens of thousands have staged protests on Friday in several eastern towns and cities, chanting: "Leave."

Syrian rights groups say more than 1,400 people have been killed in three months of nationwide protests. The regime disputes the toll, blaming "armed thugs" and foreign conspirators for the unrest.