Aerial footage of the scene of Thursday's explosions in Syrian capital Damascus
See also Syria Snap Analysis: Who Is Behind Thursday's Damascus Bombs? br>
Syria Wired: The Latest from Social Media and EA's Readers br>
Bahrain Live Coverage: Recognising an Independent Journalist br>
Turkey Live Coverage (10 May): Fronts At Home and Abroad br>
Thursday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: "A Divided and Dangerous City"
However, a quick check of the LCCS suggests that the evening protest may have been disrupted by violence:
Reports of the fall of tank shells on Misraba and Hijarieh neighborhoods along with powerful explosions shake the Great Mosque's yard. In addition to heavy gunfire reported in Shuhada (Martyrs) Square and Shefonieh roundabout and the deployment of snipers in multiple places.
2000 GMT: Syria. An activist posts a spreadsheet of today;s protests, many of which have associated videos. While we cannot confirm the count, we've heard similar numbers posted by other activists:
View Syria - Friday 11/05/2012 in a larger map
Our observations - protests today were very large in many areas, and protests over the last two Fridays have been much larger, and much more widespread, than in previous weeks. There does appear to be a re-invigoration of the peaceful protest movement since the arrival of UN observers.
Also interesting - the size and reach of protests today in Lattakia. There region has a larger support base for the regime, and while protests are not rare there, today's protests were a significant show of power for the peaceful opposition there.
There is an ebb and flow to protests in Syria. Not everyone protests every week, and so it is wrong to look for a linear progression in the size of crowds as a sign of opposition support. However, what we are seeing is a trend - the protests continue to get larger, and more and more towns are reporting protests. It appears that the opposition is continuing to grow, but it is also re-energized.
And one always needs to remember that protesting is a dangerous activity in Syria. Perhaps the worse things get the more Syrians who support the opposition believe they have less to lose.
1529 GMT: Syria. Who's behind yesterday's car bombings? What do they mean for the conflict moving forward? We've posted a separate snap analysis that you can read here:
1514 GMT: Syria. The international attention is on the car bombs. However, our attention is also caught by the extremely large protests nationwide.
Protesters wear shirts with "FREEDOM" spelled on them at, "A Massive Demonstration in Bani Ezz Church in Sahl Al Rouj, Idlib."
Al Bab, Aleppo governorate:
Qarah, rural Damascus:
Haffah, in Lattakia:
The Salah al Dine district in Aleppo, an area that has been a hotbed of dissent, and crackdown, in recent months, especially since it is close to the University of Aleppo, the campus of which has been closed to quell dissent:
4 martyrs were reported in Hama, 2 martyrs in Hasakeh, 2 martyrs in Daraa, 2 martyrs in Idlib, 1 martyr in Homs, and 1 martyr in Aleppo.
On Friday, Syria's state TV said the attempted attack had been thwarted in Aleppo's al-Shaar area.
It said the bomber was killed before he could detonate the powerful device.
According to State TV, the car had 1,200kg (2,640lb) of explosives loaded into it. According to Syrian State Media, SANA, yesterday's bombings were conducted by two cars with over 1,000 kg of explosives loaded into each.
James Miller takes over today's live coverage. Thanks to Scott Lucas for taking us through to the afternoon.
Preliminary figures suggested the former ruling party, the National Liberation Front will win 100 seats and the Islamist "Green Alliance" almost as many in the 462-seat assembly. However, numbers on private Algerian television showed the Islamists coming in a distant third, behind two pro-Government parties.
Abderrazak Mukri, a spokesman for the Alliance said the results the parties are seeing from the Interior Ministry differ dramatically from those seen by the alliance's observers: "There is a process of fraud on a centralized level to change the results that is putting the country in danger."
Mukri blamed President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and added, "we are not responsible for what could happen" as a result of the alleged fraud.
Turnout has been estimated at 30%, but the Government announced that the final rate of participation for inside and outside the county was 42.9% of the 21.6 million registered voters.
1230 GMT: Syria. Demonstrators in Houla in Homs Province scatter when a shell hits nearby, but they never stop chanting and quickly regroup:
Security forces moving through the Damascus suburb of Qudsaya to disperse protesters:
1120 GMT: Syria. Powerful footage of mass protests has been pouring in --- Talbiseh in Homs Province:
Kafarsita in Hama Province:
A large demonstration in the Shaer section of Aleppo:
A vocal rally in Abu Kamal in the northeast:
A demonstration in the al-Asali section of Damascus this morning:
1040 GMT: Syria. Encounter between activists in Homs Province and Red Cross officials, with translation of passages by Mona Mahmood of The Guardian --- first, a scene in the Baba Amr section of the city of Homs:
First man: All the families in Baba Amr are now shabiha (regime thugs) families. None of the indigenous population live their now. We want the aid to reach these people. We want your help in bringing back the indigenous families to Baba Amr.
Second man: The problem is out of 90,000 people, you have only 1,500 in Baba Amr. They need to help them to get back.
First man: This is a humanitarian request, it does not have any relation with terror whatsoever, just bring back these families....
All of them want to get back but there are so many barriers around Baba Amr, in a way they can not get back. They are not allowing the indigenous people to come back. The army is not allowing people to get back under the pretext that if the indigenous people got back, a resistance will break out again. Baba Amr will turn to a military barrack. This is a humanitarian request from us.
The Red Cross official: We have met the real families, we know where they are ... we cannot force them.
We understand your frustration, that it has been a long time that you have had to wait for this assistance to come ... but we do not carry weapons we are not political, we are not affiliated with any side. Therefore we need certain guarantees of security from both sides in order to enter a place safely so that we can first guarantee the safety of our own staff and also the safety of the people we assist.
In Qusayr, a member of the Red Cross team says at the end of the clip: "We understand your frustration, that it has been a long time that you have had to wait for this assistance to come ... but we do not carry weapons we are not political, we are not affiliated with any side. Therefore we need certain guarantees of security from both sides in order to enter a place safely so that we can first guarantee the safety of our own staff and also the safety of the people we assist."
Harpist Safana Baqleh, activist Asim Hamsho, author Mary Issa and her husband Joseph Nakhleh, blogger Yara Michel Chammas, activist Jalal Nofal, author Salama Kaila... the list goes on....
The regime's recent security campaign has led to the arrest of dozens of liberals supporting the revolution. These individuals believe in a peaceful, non-religious struggle against the regime, and hail from a plethora of the different communities which make up the fabric of Syrian society.
However, the Associated Press portrays widespread cynicism about the election, with many void or defaced ballots. One typical quote, from a 32-year-old man in Algiers:
These elections are nothing. We here in Algeria, we live in a huge coffin. We are the living dead. At my age I should be married, I should have a house. It's a basic right.
0825 GMT: Syria. Burhan Ghalioun, the leader of the opposition Syrian National Council, has claimed today that the Assad regime wants to destroy the United Nations' peace initiative, "The regime is now trying to kill this Annan plan, and by a new technique which is terrorism."
Ghalioun insisted the regime was behind Thursday's bombs in Damascus that killed at least 55 people and wounded at least 379: "The regime has operated with very closely with al-Qaeda and Iraq. We have to notice the timing of these bombings, the bombings started almost as soon as the regime removed heavy forces from the cities, we think there is a connection."
0735 GMT: Palestine. Al Jazeera English reports on the mass hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners --- estimates range from 1600 to more than 2000 --- in Israeli jails over administrative detention. Six of the hunger strikers, including Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh on Day 73 of their fasts, are reportedly "in danger".
0720 GMT: Egypt. James Bays of Al Jazeera English, continuing his reports from inside Syria on Thursday, is with a "well-trained" but under-armed Free Syrian Army brigade, made up of defectors from regime forces:
The Ministries of Labor, Higher Education, Culture, and Parliamentary Affairs were changed after groups including the Muslim Brotherhood had called on the SCAF to sack Prime Minister Kamal El Ganzouri and appoint a new Government reflecting the results of the legislative elections.
The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), linked to the Brotherhood and the biggest group in Parliament, accepted the move. "Given the limited time, there is an acceptance of this Government continuing until the presidential election," said deputy head Essam El Erian.
Meanwhile, there was lots of buzz last night around the first debate between Presidential candidates in Egyptian history. Amr Moussa, Foreign Minister in the Mubarak regime and later Secretary-General of the Arab League, traded opinions and barbs with former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh over the latter's connections to conservative religious groups, suggesting in the end that if his opponent became president it risked a return to insecurity and terrorism.
The two men are among 13 candidates competing in the election, held on 23-24 May. Polls put them among the front-runners.
Al Jazeera English offers a snapshot.
0525 GMT: Syria. The numbers and the images are stark --- at least 55 dead, at least 372 wounded in the two explosions in Damascus on Thursday near a military intelligence building.
Just as stark is what is unknown. The competing claims of "We Didn't Do It; The Other Side Did" accompany the reality that, as with the previous bombs in Damascus and Aleppo, the responsibility will not be established for a long time, after other events and manoeuvres have overtaken yesterday's explosions.
And it is those manoeuvres that are the biggest unknowns. We can say with certainty that the cease-fire, which never existed, will now be declared dead by all but the most die-hard supporters of United Nations envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan. The shape of the conflict, entering the 15th month of the uprising, is beyond prediction, however. Has violent insurgency and/or the regime's portrayal of "terrorist groups" overtaken the peaceful displays of protest, even as we see them today? Will yesterday's explosions become a pattern rather than a distinctive occurrence and, if so, will it be an outside force, beyond the opposition and regime, behind them?