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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid