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Syrian army out in force in violence-hit port city

March 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A dozen people were killed and about 200 were wounded following an uprising in the Syrian port city of Latakia.

Syria's state run news agency said unknown groups of gunmen opened fire from rooftops, attacking neighborhoods.

However, witnesses say Syrian security forces randomly fired live ammunition at anti-government protesters.

It's the latest violence as political unrest spreads across Syria. The nation has been rocked by more than a week of anti-government demonstrations that begin with protests in a drought-parched southern agricultural city and exploded nationwide on Friday. Security forces have opened fire on demonstrators in at least six places, leading to dozens of deaths.

Sunday, the government released another 17 political detainees in an apparent attempt to appease the demonstrators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.