'Massacre in Deraa'
Photo: AP

Syrian activists: Death toll in anti-gov't protests 100

Opposition figures say Hezbollah members working alongside Syrian security forces to quell Deraa riots; local hospital says bodies of 25 protestors brought in, 'all with gunshot wounds'

At least 25 bodies of protestors who were killed in clashes with Syrian security forces were evacuated to the main hospital in the southern city of Deraa, a medical official reported Thursday.


"They all had gunshot wounds," the official said.


Activists said the death toll in the anti-government protests has climbed to 100.


Meanwhile, Syrian opposition leaders have accused President Bashar Assad of using Hezbollah to suppress the anti-government protests. Abd el-Razek told BBC Arabic that Hezbollah operatives were working alongside Syrian security forces to quell the riots in Deraa. Other opposition leaders have made similar claims.


'Corrupt government is butchering us'


An independent Syrian human rights organization condemned the wave of arrests of anti-government activists in the country. The group reported that blogger and communications student Ahmad Hadifa was detained in Damascus Thursday by secret police. Last month Hadifa was held in police custody for six days.


According to the organization, Hadifa was arrested due to his "activity on Facebook in support of the protest in Deraa."


Amnesty International published the names of 93 activists it claims were arrested this month in cities throughout Syria. It said the actual number of those arrested was much higher. 


A video posted on YouTube showed an activist pleading with Arab and foreign news networks to "Save us, there is a massacre in Deraa. This corrupt government is butchering us. There are tanks and other armored vehicles here. Save us. Deraa calls out to you; Deraa is dead; I beg of you."


The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that late Wednesday an "armed gang attacked an ambulance crew that drove by the al-Omari mosque in Deraa, resulting in the deaths of a physician, medic and ambulance driver."


SANA said security forces would "continue to hunt down armed gangs that terrorize civilians and murder, steal and torch public buildings and homes in Deraa."



פרסום ראשון: 03.24.11, 13:33
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