7 killed in Syria on the 1st day of Muslim Eid

Updated: 2011-08-30 22:15


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Cairo - Activists said seven people were killed early Tuesday in Syria, as large protests erupted on the first day of Muslim Eid al-Fitr calling for the downfall of leadership.

The Doha-based al-Jazeera TV cited the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), an activist network that track anti-regime protests in Syria, as saying that six protesters were killed in the southern province of Daraa and one in central Homs province.

The LCC said security forces opened fire to disperse protesters in Daraa, Homs and some Damascus suburbs following morning Eid prayers, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Earlier on Monday, army troops backed by tanks and armored vehicles encircled the town of Rastan in central Syria and began firing heavy machine guns, leaving one person killed, according to the LCC.

Another activists group, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said five people were killed and more than 60 wounded in Sarameen in the northern province of Idlib, as Syrian troops stormed towns and villages to carry out house-to-house searches on Monday. Another person died during raids in Qara, a suburb of the capital Damascus, according to the Observatory.

The activist reports couldn't be independently verified, as the journalists are banned from heading to restive areas.

The authorities have been accusing Al-Jazeera and activists of ignoring the facts on the ground as well as incitement and fabricating events in their coverage of the protests.

About 2,200 people have been killed since protests began in mid- March, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said last week, adding that 350 of them have died since the beginning of Ramadan.

Syria disputed the toll, blaming the five-month-old unrest on armed groups and extremists, and pledged that there would be no letup in cracking down on those armed who have intimidated people and sabotaged public and private properties.


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