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Eid Is When The Regime Goes, Say Syrian Protesters

PTI 30 Aug 2011, 18:12:20 IST
PTI

Beirut, August 30:  Syrian security forces killed seven people on Tuesday as they opened fire to disperse thousands of protesters rallying against the regime, activists said.

The activists said security forces fired at protesters in the southern province of Daraa, in the central city of Homs and in Damascus and its suburbs following morning prayers on the start of Eid ul—Fitr.

“Eid is when the regime goes,” read a banner held up by protesters in the city of Daraa, where the uprising against President Bashar Assad's autocratic regime erupted five months ago.

Amateur videos posted by activists online showed fired-up protesters calling for the downfall of the regime and execution of the President. Some called for international protection of Syrian civilians. “We are being killed every day,” read another banner.

The Local Coordination Committees activist network said six protesters were killed in Daraa province and one in Homs. An activist in Daraa confirmed the six deaths in Daraa, saying four were killed in the village of al-Harra and two others in Inkhil.

The deaths in al-Harra included a 13-year-old boy, they said. “They can shoot and kill as much as they want, we will not stop calling for regime change,” the activist said. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported heavy gunfire in the Qaboun district of the capital Damascus resulting in five injuries.

State-run news agency SANA said Mr. Assad performed Eid prayers in the Hafez Assad Mosque in the capital, named after Mr. Assad's father who ruled Syria with an iron fist for three decades until his death in 2000.

On Tuesday, many in Syria visited graves of loved ones who have been killed in the five-month uprising against President Bashar Assad.

In the northern province of Idlib, a few hundred protesters marched with flower wreaths decorated with the Syrian flag and pictures of dead relatives and shouting- “Bashar, we don't want you.”

Human rights groups say Mr. Assad's forces have killed more than 2,000 civilians since the uprising erupted in March, touched off by the wave of revolutions sweeping the Arab world. AP