Tank Syria Deraa 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Syria denied on
Tuesday that a mass grave had been found near the southern city of Deraa
which the army entered last month to crush protests against President
"Reports of a mass grave in Deraa are completely
untrue," state television quoted the Interior Ministry as saying,
adding they were part of a "campaign of incitement" against Syria.
Syrian tycoon finds himself at the center of the storm
Donkeys take over from DSL as Syria shuts down Internet
villagers pulled 13 bodies from a mass grave near the southern city of
Deraa on Monday, residents said, and thousands joined a night-time march
in a Damascus suburb demanding the overthrow of the government.
residents say hundreds of people have been missing since tanks and
soldiers moved in last month to crush the cradle of opposition to
President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year rule.
said villagers digging in farmland in the outskirts of the city
uncovered the decomposed bodies of Abdullah Abdul Aziz Aba Zaid, 62, and
four of his children.
The villagers also found the bodies of a
woman, a child and six men, all unidentified, residents said. It was not
clear when they died, but Deraa residents say dozens of civilians were
killed during the military assault on the city's old quarter.
and international rights groups say Syrian forces have killed at least
700 civilians across the country since the first protests broke out in
Deraa on March 18.
The report on the mass grave could not be confirmed independently.
of demonstrators marched through the Damascus suburb of Saqba on Monday
night at the funeral of Ahmad Ataya, who died of wounds inflicted when
security forces fired at a pro-democracy rally in the capital last
A witness said the demonstrators marched at night to avoid
the tough security measures that are in force during the day. It was
the biggest protest in the Damascus outskirts since a security crackdown
three weeks ago.
Authorities have blamed most of the violence
during the wave of protests on armed groups backed by Islamists and
outside powers, who they say have killed more than 120 members of the
Witnesses in Deraa said tanks were still
positioned at main city junctions and in the outskirts, but authorities
had shortened the curfew by three hours, allowing people out on the
streets until 5.00 pm.
The official Syrian news agency said Assad
met a delegation from Deraa and they discussed the "positive atmosphere
there as a result of cooperation between the residents and the army".
In related news, hundreds of Syrian continued to
cross into northern Lebanon on Monday overnight from Syria as Syrian
tanks entered a rural area on the Lebanese border to continue the
government crackdown on widespread protests against the Assad regime,
Lebanese newspaper the Daily Star reported Tuesday.
Tank shelling was reported in the Syrian border town Tal Kalakh
late Monday night, only five kilometers from Lebanese border, and
sustained gunfire was heard throughout the day. Refugees fleeing the
violence were crossing over into Lebanon number at least 300, Human
Rights Watch reported.
The Lebanese Army issued a
statement on Sunday, Daily Star reported, saying they had stepped up
border security in order to prevent illegal entry.
SyrianTroops backed by armour have now deployed in or around towns
and villages across the southern Hauran plain, the central province of
Homs and areas near the coast. Security forces have also tightened their
grip on Damascus and its suburbs.