Friday, March 18, 2011
Two, maybe four people killed in Syrian town of Daraa
At least two protesters have been shot dead in the south Syrian city of Daara as security forces clamped down on a protest rally. A resident told Reuters news agency they had been killed by security forces as protesters demanded political freedom and an end to corruption. A human rights activist told AFP that four people had been killed.
The state news agency Sana said violence and "acts of sabotage" had broken out at a demonstration in Daraa on Friday, prompting security forces to intervene.
The resident who spoke to Reuters named the two dead people as Hussam Abdel Wali Ayyash and Akram Jawabreh. They had been among ´several thousand´ demonstrators chanting ´God, Syria, Freedom´ and anti-corruption slogans, accusing the president's family of corruption, the resident said. He said the security forces were reinforced with troops flown in by helicopters.
An anti-government website, Free Syria, also named Akram Jawabreh as one of "a number" of protesters killed.
The unnamed human rights activist contacted by AFPsaid the security forces fired live bullets at the protesters, adding that ´hundreds´ had been wounded. He told AFP that ´many´ of the wounded had been ´snatched by security forces´ from hospital and moved to unknown locations.