Home > Al-Assad, Assad, Assad Thugs, Ba'ath Party, Bashar al-Assad, Demonstration, middle east news, Politics, حمص, دمشق, سورية, شام > Syrian forces shoot dead at least five mourners and injure dozens at funeral procession(MailOnline)

Syrian forces shoot dead at least five mourners and injure dozens at funeral procession(MailOnline)


Syrian security forces have shot dead at least five people after opening fire on a massive funeral procession for eight anti-government protesters killed the day before.

The violence took place in Homs at the city’s Nasr cemetery yesterday where tens of thousands of people turned out to mourn the dead.

Witnesses said the shooting began as mourners started to leave the cemetery and dozens of people wounded.

Mourning: People shout as a coffin is lifted onto a vehicle during a mass funeral for people killed in the latest crackdown on protests in Homs, Syria

Some reports say up to 11 people were killed although this has not been confirmed.

It follows Friday’s violence when 44 people were shot dead – including a 10-year-old boy – as mass protests swept the country after prayers.

The latest bloodshed has pushed the death toll to over 900 lives raising questions over whether sanctions and harsh words from the U.S. and its allies will stop President Bashar Assad’s regime from using extreme force to crush the biggest challenge to its 40-year-rule.

Dead: Syrian security forces shot dead at least three mourners in the central city of Homs yesterday during the funeral

Some reports say up to 11 people were killed although this has not been confirmed.

It follows Friday’s violence when 44 people were shot dead – including a 10-year-old boy – as mass protests swept the country after prayers.

The latest bloodshed has pushed the death toll to over 900 lives raising questions over whether sanctions and harsh words from the U.S. and its allies will stop President Bashar Assad’s regime from using extreme force to crush the biggest challenge to its 40-year-rule.

The turnout for Friday’s demonstrations – and the deadly response by the regime – was the latest sign the conflict could be moving toward a dangerous stalemate with neither side able to tip the scales.

Assad’s forces have continued to unleash tanks and snipers and made thousands of arrests to break the revolt, but protesters continue to face down security forces.

But the government has repeatedly blamed the unrest on armed gangs – not true reform-seekers.

Fleeing: People run as gunfire is heard on the main highway in Homs during the funeral procession

In an unexpected development this week, activists said the Interior Ministry gave them permission to hold a candlelight vigil in a Damascus public garden on Monday for those who died since the uprising began.

The Syrian Mobilization Committees urged Syrians to join the vigil saying it will be a sit-in “until the downfall of the regime.”

The Interior Ministry did not immediately confirm the report, but the private Sham FM radio station also said the activists were given a license to hold a vigil for just two hours.

The activists spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal.

Meanwhile in Lebanon, a security official said thousands of Syrian troops deployed on Lebanon’s northern border was preventing the flow of Syrian refugees into the country.

The official said that after the army’s deployment, Syrians can only cross through official border points rather than enter Lebanon illegally.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said some 10,000 Syrians have fled to Lebanon since the Syrian army began an operation in the western town of Talkalakh, near Lebanon’s border, last week.

Most of Syria’s dead have been killed in the country’s northern province of Idlib and the central region of Homs.

Excluding Libya – where battles between Moammar Gadhafi’s forces and his opponents have left possibly thousands dead since February – Syria’s death toll is now higher than any country that has been gripped by uprisings.

The country has banned foreign journalists and prevented local reporters from covering trouble spots, making it nearly impossible to independently verify witness accounts.

On Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama said Assad should lead his country to democracy or “get out of the way.”

Syria’s official news agency said Obama’s admonition amounted to “incitement.”

“International pressure is still weak,” said Hilal Khashan, a political science professor at the American University of Beirut.

‘Despite Obama’s speech, the regime knows that staying in power is more important and in order to stay in power the regime is ready to do anything.’

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