Syrian security forces have reportedly opened fire on anti-government protesters near the city of Daraa, killing at least 20 people, according to eyewitnesses. “There are more than 20 martyrs …. they (security forces) opened fire haphazardly,” one witness said. The shooting took place after crowds set fire to a statue of the country’s late president. Some residents said the sounds of heavy gunfire could be heard in the city centre and witnesses had reported several casualties. The incident comes as tens of thousands of protesters in Syria took to the streets to demand greater freedom, calling for a “day of dignity” on Friday following a week-long crackdown by pro-regime forces.