What is usually a time of comity and celebrations was marked by gunfire and protests in Syria on Sunday as residents ushered in the first day of the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha.
In Aleppo, Syria's largest city and the country's economic center, residents took to the streets in anti-government protests after the morning Eid prayers, according to the the Local Coordination Committees of Syria - a network of opposition activists.
In the southern city of Daraa, where the unrest started in March, security forces fired in the air to disperse crowds and prevent them from demonstrating after prayers, the group said.
And in Arbeen, a suburb of the capital Damascus, government forces set up barricades and maintained a heavy presence, it said.
Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the Muslim prophet Ibraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God, is one of two major holidays in Islam. The other, Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
In ordinary times, the occasions are marked with joyous community prayers, acts of charity, visits from far-flung relatives, gift-giving and elaborate feasts.
But Syria is in the midst of a nearly eight-month uprising that started with calls for elections and an end to abuses by security forces, but turned into widespread calls for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.FULL STORY