The Syrian military on Saturday (June 11th) sealed off the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour as President Bashar al-Assad seeks to crush a three-month uprising, wire agencies reported.
Tanks, heavy armour and thousands of soldiers were deployed on Friday, but the town was mostly deserted as an estimated 80% of the population fled, with 4,000 seeking refuge in Turkey.
Syrian state television reported on Saturday that the army had arrested leaders of the alleged armed terrorist groups near Jisr al-Shugour, a town of around 45,000 residents.
On Friday, protests unfolded nationwide despite the security crackdown. In the town of Maaret al-Numan, demonstrators stormed the courthouse and police station, setting them ablaze. State television reported that gunmen opened fire on security forces, with casualty figures unknown. Activists estimated at least 28 people were killed Friday.