At least six people have died after security forces fired on protesters outside a mosque in the Syrian city of Deraa, human rights activists say, the BBC informs. Hundreds of people had gathered in the streets outside the Omari mosque to prevent troops from storming it. The mosque has been the focus of anti-government demonstrations – at least 10 people have now been killed in clashes. Officials blamed Wednesday’s violence on an “armed gang” and said there had been weapons inside the mosque. UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay earlier urged the Syrian government to end the use of “excessive force”. Hundreds of people had gathered around the Omari mosque in the Old City, but were dispersed by the security forces. By the afternoon, some protesters had erected tents outside the mosque – they said they were going to remain there until their demands for greater political freedom and an end to corruption were met. But shortly after midnight, the power supply and telephone lines to the area were cut. Witnesses said police released tear gas and fired live ammunition at protesters around the mosque. One activist told BBC Arabic there was a “massacre” taking place in the country.