Archive for February 24th, 2012

Syrian death toll rises as government crackdown continues

DAMASCUS (BNO NEWS) — At least eight people were killed on Friday during anti-regime demonstrations across Syria, a rights group said on Saturday.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCC), a network of Syrian opposition activists, said eight protesters were killed during demonstrations which took place across the country on Friday, which was dubbed a day of “patience and determination.” According to CNN, at least one person was wounded when security forces opened fire on a group of demonstrators in the Bab Sbaa neighborhood of Homs during a funeral of a man killed Thursday by sniper fire.

In a separate incident, security forces fired on a car, wounding at least one man outside Damascus, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least one demonstrator was also wounded when Syrian security forces opened fire in Deir Ezzor.

The crackdown continued on early Saturday when security forces surrounding the Rifaie Mosque in the Damascus suburb of Kafr Sousa fired tear gas on thousands of worshipers as they ended their prayers and tried to leave the building, CNN reported. The LCC also reported that security forces were making random arrests outside the mosque.

In the restive city of Daraa, security forces fired randomly in an attempt to disperse two groups of demonstrators. Tanks surrounded more than 2,000 protesters and two armored vehicles outside Daraa’s Omari Mosque, according to CNN which cited LCC.

Meanwhile, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported that 11 army and security forces were killed by “terrorist groups” in Homs and Deir Ezzor. Another 16 soldiers were wounded, the agency claimed.

The violence occurred on one of the most holy days of Ramadan and on the same day that a United Nations team concluded that there is “an urgent need to protect civilians from the excessive use of force” after completing a five-day humanitarian mission to Syria.

The August 20-25 mission added that “the constant presence of government officials” limited the visitors’ ability to assess the situation. “However, the people it was able to talk to in areas of previous or ongoing unrest said they felt extremely intimidated and under constant threat,” the UN said.

This week, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said that more than 2,200 people have been killed in Syria since pro-democracy demonstrations began in Syria in mid-March as part of a broader uprising across North Africa and the Middle East that has led to the toppling of entrenched regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and conflict in Libya. More than 350 people have reportedly been killed since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on August 1.

The Syrian government has repeatedly claimed that the violent acts have been instigated by terrorists who use military uniforms and weaponry to pose as soldiers while attacking citizens but these claims have been rejected by residents, human rights groups, and the international community.

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Source: WireUpdate.