Syrian forces kill 5 civilians in clampdown

Funerals for demonstrators killed by regime turn into protests; Assad's forces raid homes in Damascus and restive area near Lebanon border.

By REUTERS
June 26, 2011 01:37
1 minute read.
Syrians protest against  Assad in Deir al-Zour

Syrian Protests 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

AMMAN - Syrian security forces shot dead five civilians during funerals which turned into protests against President Bashar Assad, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

Other people were killed during raids on homes in protest areas, the rights group said.

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Two protesters were killed in Kiswa, 15 km (10 miles) south of Damascus, during funerals of several demonstrators who had been killed on Friday.

Three civilians were killed during house-to-house searches in the Barzeh district of Damascus and in the town of Quseir, west of Homs city, close to the Lebanon border, the rights group added.

"These regions have been seeing growing protests and the regime is using force to prevent them from spreading," Rami Abdel Rahman, rights group, told Reuters.

Witnesses said at least 200 people were arrested in raids on homes in Barzeh following Friday's protests as part of an escalating security clampdown focused on regions close to the capital.

Tens of thousands of Syrians staged protests on Friday that stretched across most of the country. At least 20 civilian protesters were killed by security forces using live ammunition, the Local Coordination Committees, an activist group, said.

Syria has barred most international journalists from entering the country, making it difficult to verify accounts from activists and officials.

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