| 10.09,11. 04:47 AM |
7 Dead as Syrian Protesters Flood Streets, Urge Int'l Protection
Syrian troops killed seven people on Friday as protests broke out across the country urging international protection from a deadly government crackdown on dissent, the Syrian Revolution General Commission said.
Opposition-affiliated Flash News Network identified the seven victims as Hassan al-Bakkour (Jabal al-Zawiyah), Mohammed Dakkak (Damascus), Abdul Razzaq al-Masri (Homs), Khaled Kharma (Homs), Ahmed al-Intabli (Homs), Ziad al-Hafian (Homs) and Ali al-Fayyad (Deir al-Zour).
"A 15-year-old boy was martyred when soldiers manning a checkpoint opened fire in the village of al-Rama, in Jabal al-Zawiyah," in the northwest, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, for its part, said in a statement.
The rights advocacy group also reported protests in several parts of the country after weekly Muslim prayers on Friday -- the day of rest that has seen regular anti-regime protests since mid-March.
The rebellious central city of Homs was swept by protests, including one rally of an estimated 20,000 people demanding the regime's fall, the Observatory said.
It said "huge protests" gripped the eastern oil hub city of Deir al-Zour, as worshippers emerged from mosques and took to the streets "despite heavy security deployment."
Protests also swept several parts of the capital Damascus, activists said.
More than 150 people marched in the flashpoint neighborhood of Barzeh chanting slogans of support for the rebellious central province of Homs "for the protection of Syria and the fall of the regime," the Observatory said.
Videos posted on the Internet showed crowds of protesters in Barza with some carrying signs saying: "We want Russia and China to change their position towards this regime."
Similar scenes were repeated in the neighborhoods of Al-Hajar al-Aswad, where arrests were reported, and in al-Midan, the Observatory added.
In Homs, demonstrators on YouTube videos were heard chanting: "Long live Free Syria," and in the central city of Hama they held up signs reading: "Bashar, Game Over" and "The People want to execute the president."
The Local Coordination Committees group, which has activists on the ground, also reported demonstrations in the southern city of Sweida.
Democracy activists have called on the United Nations to send international observers to Syria and urged nationwide protests Friday.
"The Syrian people calls on the United Nations to adopt a resolution to set up a permanent observer mission in Syria," activists said on their Facebook page "Syrian Revolution 2011."
"We demand access to the international media, we demand the protection of civilians," they said.
More than 2,200 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the government's crackdown on almost daily pro-democracy demonstrations in Syria since mid-March, according to the United Nations.
The Syrian regime blames “armed terrorist gangs” for the violence.