Activists: Syrian forces kill 4 protesters in South

Demonstrations against Assad break out across country; regime forces reportedly fire on protesters after Friday prayers in Deir al-Zor, Deraa.

August 19, 2011 14:57
1 minute read.
anti-Assad protest in Deir al-Zor

anti-Assad protest in Deir al-Zor 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

AMMAN - Syrian forces shot dead at least four protesters and wounded dozens as they were coming out of a mosque in the town of Inkhil in the southern Deraa province on Friday, an activist said.

"We have names of four confirmed dead protesters in Inkhil and reports of heavy firing on demonstrations by the security forces across Deraa's countryside," Abdallah Aba Zaid, a prominent local activist, told Reuters. Syria has expelled most independent media since the unrest began, making it difficult to verify reports from the country.

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Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad fired live ammunition to disperse protests demanding his removal in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor and the southern Hauran Plain, activists said, as demonstrations broke out across the country.

A demonstration in Takaya Street in Deir al-Zor, where one protester was killed two days ago, came under fire after Friday prayers, they said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the Deir al-Zor attack. Syrian authorities have expelled independent journalists from the country or banned them from working, making verifying events on the ground difficult.

Assad, from the minority Alawite sect in a nation that is predominantly Sunni Muslim, told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week that military and police operations, which intensified since the start of the holy month of Ramadan this month to crush a five-month uprising against Assad's rule, had stopped.

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