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Syrians bury their dead in new bloody rallies

Last Updated: Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 20:16

Damascus: At least eight mourners were
shot dead on Saturday as Syrians swarmed the streets to bury scores
of demonstrators killed in massive protests and world leaders
denounced the bloodshed.

Activists said the death toll from yesterday`s
nationwide protests could reach 100 and expected fresh
protests to form after the funerals.

Yesterday`s deaths signalled no let-up from President
Bashar al-Assad, whose forces used live ammunition and tear
gas against demonstrators nationwide, witnesses and activists said to a news agency.

The bloodshed erupted as tens of thousands of
demonstrators took to the streets for "Good Friday" protests
to test long sought-after freedoms a day after Assad scrapped
decades of draconian emergency rule.

The Syrian Revolution 2011, a motor behind the
protests, marked the tone Saturday by posting on its main
Facebook page a black banner with the word "Mourning" in
English and Arabic.

It came as tens of thousands of mourners packed buses
and headed on Saturday for the southern town of Ezreh for the
funerals of 18 people killed the previous day, a rights
activist said to a news agency by telephone.

Another activist later said "12 martyrs were buried in
Ezreh" and that two men - Yasser Nseirat and Jamal Qanbar --
who were part of the funeral cortege heading for the town were
shot dead by security forces.

Other activists spoke of five mourners killed in Ezreh
and outside a hospital in Daraa, with the toll expected to

"More than 150 buses left from Daraa and neighbouring
villages to attend the funerals of 18 martyrs killed Friday in
Ezreh," in Daraa province, an activist requesting anonymity

Daraa has been an epicentre of protests against the
regime of Assad, who also scrapped the feared state security
court on Thursday and signed a decree "to regulate" peaceful
protests in the autocratic country.

Snipers also pinned down mourners in the northern
Damascus suburb of Douma, killing at least three people on
Saturday, a witness and a human rights activist there said to a news agency.

They opened fire from roof-tops as mourners marched
from a local mosque to a cemetery, the sources said, adding
that tens of thousands of people took part in the procession.

A group called the Committee of Martyrs of 15 March
Revolution issued a list of 82 names of people killed
yesterday, but said the toll from the "massacre" could reach
100 as it tried to confirm more deaths.

Amnesty International, citing Syrian activists, said
at least 75 people were killed yesterday when the "government
launched its deadliest crackdown yet on demonstrators" seeking


First Published: Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 20:16

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