Syria mourns 11 soldiers killed by "armed groups": SANA

11:26, May 08, 2011      

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Syrian army mourned on Saturday 11 soldiers and policemen who were killed by an "armed groups" on Friday in Homs, the state SANA news agency reported.

A military source said on Friday "armed terrorist groups" attacked a military checkpoint in the central province of Homs, killing five soldiers and policemen.

According to the source, army units had chased those groups after the attack as clashes with them led to the killing of another six soldiers and the wounding of many others. Several members of the armed group were killed and wounded, the source added.

On Friday, thousands of pro-reform protesters took to streets in the Syrian cities of Damascus, Banias, Rastan, Hama, Deir el- Zour and Qamishli, of the Kurdish majority, in what activists dubbed as "Friday of defiance".

Eyewitnesses told Xinhua pro-democracy demonstrations took place in Damascus' suburbs of Daria, Douma, Qadam, al-Mu'addamiya, Zabadani, and al-Tal.

The demonstrators called for the Syrian leadership to step down and lift a siege that had been imposed on the southern city of Daraa by the army for 11 days.

Washington has described Syrian authorities acts in Daraa as " barbaric".

Syrian human rights groups accused authorities of having shot dead 30 protesters across the country on Friday. The protests are synchronized with the country's day of martyrs, which gave the event a special significance.

The prominent Syrian opposition figure, Riad Seif, was reportedly arrested in Damascus during demonstrations. He was released from prison only last August after being arrested in January 2008 for convening a meeting of a pro-democracy group.

Unprecedented anti-government protests erupted in mid-March in Daraa, 100 km south to Damascus and extended into other cities including the capital Damascus. according to Syrian human rights groups, hundreds of citizens have been killed by security forces so far across the country, other thousands arrested or missed in action.

The authorities which blame the country's turmoil on "armed terrorist thugs and foreign conspiracy" have been banning media to access to protests zones accusing foreign news agencies of " misleading and unprofessional".

Meanwhile, the White House "strongly" condemned and deplored the Syrian government's crackdown of citizens, threatening to take "additional steps" against Syria if its government didn't show " significant change" in its dealing with the protests.

Source:Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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