Syrian city holds mass funerals

Residents bury dozens of people killed by security forces during marches on “Children’s Freedom Friday” in Hama

Most shops are closed in the central Syrian city of Hama as funerals are held for scores of protesters shot dead by security forces a day earlier, local residents say.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based independent rights group, said on Saturday that at least 48 people were killed the day before in Hama, which has become a new centre for protest and violence.

A Syrian human rights activist put Friday’s death toll among protesters at 63, up from an initial count of 48. Most of the dead were killed in Hama after troops opened fire on crowds.

Sources in Syria confirmed that the internet had been mostly restored, after authorities shut it down on Friday.

At least 1,270 people have been killed since an uprising against Bashar Assad’s government began in mid-March, according to the Local Co-ordination Committees, an umbrella organisation which helps organise and document Syria’s protests.

In 1982, the Syrian government of Hafez al-Assad, father of Bashar, heavily bombed the city to crush an uprising, killing thousands.

After noon prayers on Saturday, tens of thousands of people carrying coffinds streamed out of mosques in the direction of the two city’s main cemeteries, Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said.

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Categories: Asia, Syria

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