Saturday, July 16, 2011

Syrian forces kill 32 protesters, most of them in Damascus

The video, taken by protesters and put on Facebook, shows a large demonstration on 15 July in Aleppo. 

Syrian forces killed at least 32 civilians on Friday, Reuters reports, 23 of them in the capital Damascus. It was the highest death toll in the central neighborhoods of Damascus since the uprising erupted four months ago.
"Tens of thousands of Damascenes took to the streets in the main districts for the first time today, that is why the regime resorted to more killings," said one activist by telephone from Damascus. All in all this last Friday showed an increase in the protests, in spite of the fact that the Syrian securitry forces and the army sofar have killed more than 1400 people, wounded many more and arrested thousands..   
The killings prompted the opposition to cancel their planned National Salvation conference in Qaboun neighborhood of Damascus on Saturday after security forces killed 14 protesters outside a wedding hall where the conference had been due to take place, opposition leader Walid al-Bunni told Reuters. The rest of those killed in Damasacus were in Barzeh, where one protester had died, and in Rukn al-Din quarter of the city, where security forces fired protesters killing eight people.Four people were killed in the southern city of Deraa, where the uprising strated, four months ago. 
In the city of Hama, scene of a 1982 massacre by the military, live video footage filmed by residents showed a huge crowd in the main Orontos Square shouting "the people want the overthrow of the regime".
At least 350,000 people demonstrated in the eastern province of Deir al Zor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Syrian forces shot dead two pro-democracy protesters there on Thursday, residents said.
Three protesters were shot dead in the northwestern province of Idlib, near the Turkish border, where troops and tanks have attacked villages, the witnesses and activists said. Two people were also killed in the city of Homs.
The economy in Syria has all but come to a halt and the Syrian pound is losing much of its value. To counter  that, Syria's main ally, Iran, is considering offering $5.8 billion in financial help, including a three-month loan worth $1.5 billion to be made available immediately, French business newspaper Les Echos said, citing a report by a Tehran think-tank linked to Iran's leadership.

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