Anti-Assad protesters in Homs 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout)
AMMAN - Syrian forces shot dead at least four civilians on Sunday in a continued military assault on the central city of Homs and in an attack on pro-democracy demonstrations that erupted after prayers marking the main Muslim feast, an activist group said.
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Three of the deaths occurred in Homs, 140 km (90 miles) north of Damascus, where a main district has been under tank bombardment since Tuesday. One demonstrator was shot dead when security police fired at a protest demanding the removal of President Bashar Assad in the city of Hama to the north, the Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC) said.
The organization said in a statement that at least 10 protesters were also injured in the town of Talbisah near Homs and in Harra in the southern Hauran Plain.
Fifty protesters were arrested after a demonstration in the Damascus district of Kfrar Souseh. Troops deployed in several Damascus suburbs, surrounding mosques to prevent crowds from rallying after the early morning prayers for the feast of Id al-Adha, it said.
Syrian authorities have banned most non-official media since an uprising
against Assad's rule erupted seven months ago, making independent
verification of events hard.
Officials say the unrest is largely a
result of a foreign conspiracy to divide Syria and that security forces
are using legitimate means to confront "terrorists" and Islamist
militants bent on wrecking a reform drive by Assad.
residents said tank fire killed at least 13 civilians and wounded
dozens in Homs on Saturday, casting doubt on whether an Arab League plan
can end the bloodshed touched off by the popular uprising.
Cairo, the Arab League chief said the organization was seriously
concerned by the violence in Syria, and appealed to Damascus to abide by
steps agreed this week with Arab states to protect civilians and set
Syria on the course of dialogue.