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Anti-government protesters marched on Friday.
Anti-government protesters marched on Friday.
Image: STR/AP/Press Association Images

Syrian forces fire on mourners during funeral processions for anti-government protesters

News of new deaths emerge a day after a violent crackdown by security forces loyal to president Bashar Assad killed as many as 100 people during demonstrations on Friday.
Apr 23rd 2011, 2:11 PM 205 1

SYRIAN SECURITY FORCES fired on thousands of mourners, killing at least six, during funeral processions for victims of Friday’s violent protests in which at least 75 people were killed.

People shouted slogans against the regime president Bashar Assad as they carried coffins through the streets, AP reports, with witnesses saying security forces killed four people in Douma, a suburb of the capital, and two in the southern village of Ezra where many of the deaths on Friday took place.

This could not be independently confirmed because Syria has expelled journalists and restricted access to trouble spots.

On Friday, Syrian security forces fired bullets and tear gas at tens of thousands of protesters across the country, in a clear sign that regime was prepared to escalate an already bloody response to more than five weeks of unrest.

The BBC reports that the government of Assad appears to have made a deliberate decision to use live ammunition in order to impose order.

Some 300 people have been killed since the uprising began in mid-March.

In a statement , US President Barack Obama said the violence was “outrageous” and called on Assad to obey the will of his people by giving them freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and the ability to choose their leaders.

Among those killed Friday were a 70-year-old man and two boys ages 7 and 10, according to Amnesty International.

Other human rights groups have given death tolls ranging from 70 to more than 90, with one group reporting that 100 had died in Friday’s violence.

Raw video of the protests has emerged and is being posted on YouTube, AP has curated this footage:

- with reporting from AP

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Hugh O'Connell

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