'Syrian forces kill two mourners in central Damascus'

Funeral for 10-year-old turns deadly; mourners shout: "the people want the president executed," "we will be free despite you Bashar!"

Anti-Assad protesters in Homs 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout)
Anti-Assad protesters in Homs 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout)
AMMAN - Syrian forces shot dead two mourners on Saturday when they fired on a funeral procession in central Damascus for a 10-year-old child killed during a protest a day earlier, a witness said.
With the deployment of thousands of police and militiamen loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, central neighborhoods of Damascus have remained largely free of pro-democracy protests that have spread across the country in the seven-month-old uprising.
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But at Saturday's funeral, "passions were running high," the witness said. "The body was wrapped in white and thousands behind it were chanting 'the people want the execution of the president' and 'we will be free despite you Bashar'."
Some mourners began throwing stones at the security forces, who fired live ammunition back, the witness told Reuters by phone from the scene in the Maidan district.
The child, Ibrahim Sheiban, was killed in a protest in the Qadam suburb of Damascus. His funeral took place in Meidan, an old, socially conservative district of the capital, because his family is originally from there, said the witness, a private sector employee who did not want to be further identified.