BEIRUT (Reuters) - President Bashar al-Assad sacked the governor of Hama province on Saturday, a day after tens of thousands of protesters massed in the provincial capital to demand the Syrian leader step down. The demonstration in Hama, scene of a bloody crackdown by Assad's father nearly 30 years ago, was part of nationwide protests which activists said were some of the biggest since the uprising against Assad's rule erupted 14 weeks ago. The protests took place while Assad's troops, backed by tanks and helicopters, pursued a military campaign in the northwestern province of Idlib where a prominent rights lawyer said 14 villagers were killed on Friday. Another 10 people were shot dead by security forces who confronted demonstrators in the central city of Homs, Damascus suburbs and the Mediterranean city of Latakia, activists said. State news agency SANA agency said Assad issued a decree dismissing Ahmad Khaled Abdulaziz, governor of Hama province, without giving details. Hama was the site of an armed uprising against Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad, who sent the army to crush the revolt in 1982. At least 10,000 people were killed and part of the old city was flattened in the military operation. One month ago, activists said Syria forces killed 60 protesters in the city, in one of the bloodiest days of the uprising against Assad. Residents said security forces and snipers had fired on crowds of demonstrators.