Many killed in Syria clashes
Beirut, April 9, 2011
Syrian security forces opened fire on tens of thousands of protesters across several cities yesterday, killing 22 people and wounding hundreds, a human rights group said.
But official news agency Sana said 19 members of the security forces were killed and 75 were wounded by 'armed groups' in Deraa, according to a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
Ammar Qurabi, who heads Syria's National Organisation for Human Rights, said 17 people were killed in Deraa, three in the Damascus suburb of Harasta, and two in the central city of Homs.
Witnesses in Deraa said residents turned mosques into makeshift hospitals to help tend to hundreds of wounded protesters.
An activist said people were killed when security forces opened fire with rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse stone-throwing protesters.
'Thousands of demonstrators leaving from three mosques marched to the courthouse but security forces dressed in civilian clothing fired to disperse them,' he said.
Protesters angered by the deaths set fire to the ruling Baath party's headquarters in Deraa.
State television said 'saboteurs and conspirators opened fire on residents and security forces' alike in the town, killing two people - an officer and an ambulance man. It broadcast footage showing young men in keffiyehs standing behind trees while the sound of automatic weapons fire could be heard. – TradeArabia News Service