News / Middle East

10 Killed in Syria's Anti-Government Unrest

Protesters chant anti-government slogans in the village of Kansafra in the Jabal al-Zawiya region of the northern province of Idlib, December 9, 2011.
Protesters chant anti-government slogans in the village of Kansafra in the Jabal al-Zawiya region of the northern province of Idlib, December 9, 2011.

Activists say Syrian forces have opened fire on protesters who had gathered at a funeral for a child, killing at least four people.

The activists say the unrest the northwestern Idlib province was among several deadly incidents Saturday. They also say three civilians were killed in the central Homs region after gunfire erupted near a security checkpoint. Witnesses say Syrian forces had increased their presence in the flashpoint Homs region.

Opposition activists say anti-government related unrest also left at least three people dead in other regions.

Separately, the state-run SANA news agency says three security force members killed by "armed terrorists" in Homs were buried Saturday. The government has blamed much of the country's unrest on gunmen and militants.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been facing mounting international pressure to end a crackdown on dissent that the United Nations says has claimed more than 4,000 lives.

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu urged Assad to punish the "murderers" and implement Arab League initiatives designed to end the unrest.

Meanwhile, anti-government activists are calling for a nationwide strike, beginning Sunday, in an attempt to bring down the regime through civil disobedience.

The opposition Local Coordination Committees are urging citizens to hold sit-ins, close facilities and to refuse to report for work in the public sector.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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