Syria death toll rises, Assad sacks Hama Governor

Prez Bashar al-Assad sacked the governor of Hama, a day after half a million protesters flooded the central city.

Updated: Jul 02, 2011, 18:31 PM IST

Damascus: Syrian forces killed 28
civilians on a day of massive anti-regime rallies and in
shelling of villages in the north-western province of Idlib,
human rights activists said.

State television meanwhile reported that President
Bashar al-Assad sacked the governor of Hama, a day after half
a million protesters flooded the central city demanding the
ouster of their embattled leader.

Most of Friday`s victims were killed in the Idlib
province, where all week troops backed by tanks and armoured
personnel carriers have swept through villages to crush
dissent against Assad`s autocratic regime.

"Sixteen people were killed" in Idlib yesterday, Ammar
Qorabi, the head of the National Organisation for Human
Rights, told in Nicosia on Saturday.

Three of them were women who died when the army
shelled a chicken hatchery in the village of Al-Bara, Qorabi
said.

Another 10 people were killed when security forces
opened fire to disperse protests in several cities, including
eight in the central protest hub of Homs and two in the
Damascus neighbourhood of Qadam.

One person was reported killed in Syria`s second-
largest city Aleppo and another in the Mediterranean coastal
city of Latakia.

A previous death toll provided by other activists last
night gave a figure of 11 civilians dead, including a 50-year-
old mother and her 20-year-old daughter killed in Al-Bara.

Waves of protesters flooded the streets nationwide
yesterday to demand the overthrow of the regime, with varying
reports putting the turnout in the central city of Hama alone
at more than half a million.

PTI