More Syria deaths as half a million flood Hama

The deaths came as Damascus accused the US envoy of inciting violence in Hama.

Last Updated: Jul 09, 2011, 21:59 PM IST

Damascus: Security forces killed at least
15 people and arrested more than 200 people in Syria,
activists said, as Human Rights Watch denounced on Saturday a
"deliberate policy" to disperse protesters with deadly force.

The deaths came as Damascus accused the US envoy of
inciting violence in Hama -- where nearly half a million
people protested on Friday -- a charge roundly denied by
Washington which accused the Syrian embassy of spying on
demonstrators in the United States.

Opposition activists reported five deaths Friday in
the central city of Homs, two in the capital`s commercial
neighbourhood Medan and six in the Dmeir area, east of
Damascus.

Security forces machine-gunned protesters at Maaret
al-Numan in the northwest, killing one and wounding five, an
activist said.

Soldiers also fired at a family car on the Hama-Aleppo
road near Maaret al-Numan, killing a man and wounding his wife
and two daughters, the activist added.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security
forces had also arrested more than 200 people around the
country on Friday, more than half of them in Homs.

The London-based watchdog`s director Rami Abdel Rahman
said a record 450,000 Syrians rallied after Friday prayers in
Hama, an opposition bastion, under the banner "No to dialogue"
with Assad`s regime and called for its ouster.

Both US envoy Robert Ford and French ambassador Eric
Chevallier visited the city on Thursday.

PTI