News / Middle East

2 Killed at Funeral for Syrian Victim

Syrian security forces have fired shots at mourners attending the funeral for a child.

Activists say two people were killed and several wounded in the unrest, which occurred after thousands of people gathered for the funeral in Damascus on Saturday.

The Reuters news agency says some mourners had been throwing stones at security forces and calling for the execution of President Bashar al-Assad.

Activists say the funeral was for a boy who was among 11 people killed on Friday when Syrian forces opened fire on anti-government protesters who rallied in several parts of the country.

Also Saturday, President Assad issued a decree that calls for the formation of a committee that will prepare a new constitution. The state-run SANA news agency says the decree requires the panel to complete its work within a four-month period.

The initiative may be an attempt by Assad to address the growing international condemnation that he has been facing for his government's crackdown on dissent.

On Friday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that Syria's violent repression could drive the country into full-blown civil war.

Her office said more than 3,000 people had been killed since the anti-government protests began earlier this year.

Damascus has blamed much of the deadly violence on gunmen or "terrorist" groups.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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