News / Middle East

Activists: Syrian Security Forces Kill 3 at Protesters' Funeral

A veiled woman takes part in a protest calling on Syria's President Bashar Assad to step down, in front of the United Nations headquarters in Amman, on May 21, 2011.
A veiled woman takes part in a protest calling on Syria's President Bashar Assad to step down, in front of the United Nations headquarters in Amman, on May 21, 2011.

Activists in Syria say at least three people were killed Saturday when security forces fired on mourners holding funeral services for at least 44 people killed in Friday's protest demonstrations.  Opposition websites are also claiming that medics were not allowed to treat the victims.

Meanwhile, in Yemen, embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh is saying once again that he will sign a Gulf Cooperation Council plan that paves the way for him to resign.    

Funeral goers chanted slogans against the government in Syria’s third largest city of Homs Saturday, before security forces blocked their march with bloody volleys of live ammunition. An opposition group says on the social networking site Facebook that doctors and medics were not allowed to treat the victims.

Funeral processions were held in a number of towns and cities, including one in Kfar Roumie, to bury victims of Friday’s bloody crackdown on protesters who were demonstrating against President Bashar al-Assad's government.  Ammar Qurabi of the National Organization of Human Rights in Syria confirms the high death toll from Friday's protests.

Activists: Syrian Security Forces Kill 3 at Protesters' Funeral
Activists: Syrian Security Forces Kill 3 at Protesters' Funeral

Videos were posted on Facebook of pro-government militiamen carrying clubs and beating protesters in Latakia, Banyas and Hama on Friday. One video showed government militiamen firing on residents of Homs as they tried to rescue a wounded man lying in the street.

Another video showed protesters tearing down a large billboard bearing the picture of President Assad in the city of Idlib. Elsewhere, al-Jazeera TV showed video of protesters setting fire to a ruling Ba'ath Party office near Latakia. It was not possible to verify the events, however, since foreign correspondents are not being allowed into Syria.

Syria’s official government daily Teshrine accused “armed groups of shooting and killing 17 civilians and members of the security forces.” It also claimed that members of a “terrorist cell confessed to carrying arms and a large quantity of explosives.”

Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, says that the Syrian government appears undeterred by U.S. and European Union condemnations or economic sanctions in continuing its bloody and brutal crackdown. "The number of demonstrators has declined, yet the number of casualties has increased, and that's very alarming, since it appears as if the regime in Damascus realizes that the outside world will not do anything, except to protest. The regime in Damascus feels that they have a free hand to crush the demonstrators, so I don't know where this is going," he said.

Khashan also pointed out that the anti-government protest movement appeared to be strongest in outlying regions of the country, while the two largest cities of Damascus and Aleppo remained mostly quiet.  "So far it seems that protests in Syria are mainly inviting poor people. As long as it remains confined to the poor it will continue to be within the ability of the regime to contain it," he said.

Meanwhile, in Yemen, embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh addressed an army gathering Saturday to mark the 21st anniversary of the unification of the country. He called the ongoing protest movement against him a “coup”, but claimed that he would sign a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plan paving the way for him to step down.

The GCC indicated Saturday that its secretary general, Abdullatif al Zayani, was on his way back to Yemen. He left several days ago after the president balked at signing the plan to step down. Despite the news, security forces shot and wounded a number of protesters in Hodeida Saturday.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid