Syrian security forces have arrested dozens of people after clashes at pro-democracy protests in several cities left at least seven people dead, activists say, quoted by BBC. Most arrests came in the southern city of Deraa and the Damascus suburb of Douma, scene of the worst violence. The government said its security forces were not responsible for the deaths, blaming them on “armed groups”. Coverage of the protests is difficult to gauge because of media restrictions. Some reports said as many as 15 people had died in Friday’s clashes. The local authorities had promised to hand over the bodies of those who died to their families on Sunday morning, and their funerals were due to take place after noon prayers at the Grand Mosque, residents said.