This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 24 September, 2019
Advertisement

Thousands of Syrians take to the streets again with one protester killed

In what has become a weekly event, thousands of protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers only to be met with bullets, tear gas and batons wielded by security forces.

A banner which reads
A banner which reads "Freedom means to stop the killing and arrests" is displayed during a march in northeastern Syria on Friday
Image: Citizen Journalism Image/STR/AP/Press Association Images

SYRIAN SECURITY FORCES opened fire on thousands of protesters killing at least one person with a gunshot to the head as soldiers tried to head off demonstrations by occupying mosques and blocking public squares on Friday, activists said.

The death in the central city of Homs marks the latest bloodshed in what has become a weekly rhythm during the two-month uprising, with protesters taking to the streets every Friday, only to be met with bullets, tear gas and batons by security forces.

Leading human rights activist Mazen Darwish said Friday’s victim was shot in the head. A second activist in Homs put the death toll at two.

Human rights groups say that between 700 and 850 people have been killed since the start of the revolt against President Bashar Assad’s repressive regime.

Thousands in Syria have persevered with the demonstrations, turning up in huge numbers on Fridays despite one of the most brutal crackdowns since a wave of popular uprisings began sweeping the Arab world.

This Friday, three rallies were held in Damascus — the largest number of protests held at one time in the capital.

Security forces fired tear gas in the capital’s Zahra neighborhood, forcing scores of people to disperse. In nearby Mazzeh, protesters ran away when security forces arrived.

In Muhajereen, security forces used batons to scatter dozens of people, activists said.

Assad has come under scathing criticism for the crackdown, with the United States and Europe imposing sanctions.

In several key areas, residents said Syrian soldiers occupied mosques and blocked off major public areas on Friday to prevent people from leaving their homes.

There is a media blackout in Syria, making it impossible to confirm witness accounts independently. Witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear for their personal safety.

The army shelled residential areas in central and southern Syria on Wednesday, killing 19 people, a human rights group said.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton slammed the Syrian government’s assault on demonstrators and said the violence indicates that Assad is weak, though she stopped short of saying he must quit.

“Treating one’s own people in this way is in fact a sign of remarkable weakness,” Clinton said during a trip to Greenland.

The revolt was touched off in mid-March by the arrest of teenagers who scrawled anti-regime graffiti on a wall. Since then, the protests have spread nationwide and the death toll already has exceeded those seen during the uprisings in Yemen and Tunisia.

- AP

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Mary

Read next:

COMMENTS