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At Least 15 Killed in Syria Protests; Power & Phone Lines Cut in Daraa

At Least 15 Killed in Syria Protests; Power & Phone Lines Cut in Daraa

At least fifteen people, including a doctor and paramedic, have been killed at the Omari mosque in the southern Syrian province of Daraa, says the BBC. Hundreds had been gathering around it to prevent troops from seizing the mosque, which had become the focus of demonstrations against the government. On Tuesday afternoon, protesters had started to set up tents outside the mosque but by midnight, lines for electricity and mobile phones had been cut. Security forces used tear gas and ammunition against protesters and have set up checkpoints manned with soldiers in camouflage uniforms and plainclothes, and armed, security agents.

Daraa is an agricultural province of about 300,000 near the Jordanian border; it has suffered from drought for many years. Says the Guardian:

The unrest there started with the arrest last week of a group of students who sprayed anti-government graffiti on walls in the main city of Daraa, some 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of the capital Damascus.

Demonstrations calling for the students’ release swelled into calls for political freedoms and security forces killed at least seven people in attempts to quash them, according to witnesses and activists.

The Syrian government fired the governor of the southern province of Daraa but failed to quell popular anger and on Tuesday the protests reached the village of Nawa, where hundreds of people marched demanding reforms, activist said.

Syria’s state media and political activists offered differing accounts of what happened on Tuesday:

One activist told BBC Arabic there was a “massacre” taking place in the country.

“The Syrian authorities are now committing a crime against humanity whose victims are innocent, defenceless and peaceful citizens, who are staging peaceful sit-ins, and who don’t even have stones to defend themselves with,” said the activist, who did not want to be named.

“These people think that they can kill the democratic protesters without being held to account.”

State media said four people had been killed. Officials blamed the violence on an “armed gang”, which they said had attacked a medical team in an ambulance, killing a doctor, paramedic and driver. One member of the security forces had also been killed, said the report.

“The security forces who were near the area intervened, hitting some and arresting others,” the AFP news agency quoted officials as telling state media.

Syria has been under emergency law since 1963. BBC journalist Lina Sinjab—one of the few to be in Daraa—says that ‘the events are unprecedented in recent Syrian history, and the unrest is certainly making the government very worried.’ At least 22 people have been killed in protests so far, according to the Guardian.


Previous Care2 Coverage

Libya: Third Night Of Anti-Aircraft Fire In Tripoli

Yemen is Not Egypt: Senior Officials and Top General Back Protesters, Power Struggle Likely [VIDEO]

Yemen’s President Fires His Cabinet; Hospitals Under Siege in Bahrain; Protests in Syria [VIDEO]

Massive Turnout of Egyptian Voters Approves Constitutional Changes [VIDEO]

More Protests in Syria; Yemeni President Talks of Civil War

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Photo by Tonemgub2010 (Own work) [CC0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

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6:45PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

People are rising up all over the world for rights and freedoms. When every country has it's very rich and very poor at odds, it is always the poor that suffer. We must have some means of evening out the differences. Unfortunately, the poor usually have to give more than the rich. Where is the humanity? Have all the rich become so calloused that they have lost touch with their fellow human beings? As long as wealth remains in power everywhere, people will suffer. If there is a God or Allah, an energy that sees and knows all, why do you forsake the masses and give such power to those who wield power like a sword to the hearts of the people who made them rich. Shame onto them who have forgotten humanity and only take advantage for more gain for their greed which is never satisfied. Shame onto you. You know who you are.

6:23PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

when will so much violence, unrest settle in mid-eastern countries? there's unrest everywhere one looks - it's wierd as most of these countires have fundamental, rigid Muslims who follow the Quran faithfully - surely it must talk about love, patieince etc. surely the Prophet cldn't have encouraged slaughtering each other like it happens in most of those countries

2:02PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Please God or Allah bring peace to all our brothers and sisters in the Middle East... I am all for freedom... but people are dying... this needs to end.. and peacefully ...

1:10PM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

The Alawi is a Shia sect, therefore they ARE Muslim. The Muslim majority wants them out of power. Simple.

9:50AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

"Emergency Law" has been in effect since 1963 ?
Enough is enough.....and they are saying, here we go again with another WAKE UP CALL to those ego idiots who think they can make us all slaves to their mania! Sick & Twisted and mathematically impaired.

8:31AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

It seems that country after country are now standing up for themselves against the corrupt governments and they are being brutally murdered. I pray for their FREEDOM! May GOD help them. (No matter what name their God goes by)

8:00AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Ed A. you are right, let us shoot em up, bomb em, kill them wholesale, have a no-fly zone, and soon we will protect what few civilians are left. As Andrew Cockburn said "It sure looks like Osama bin Laden is winning the Great War on terror"
Is it whenever the Media have little news, they stir and stir, and the cretins called politicians decide it is time for another war.
Eisenhower warned you, but 'a prophet in his own country....'

7:44AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

I would have liked a no fly in Syria. They spoe to me and wanted our help. They are so oppressed. They're rebelling and I hope they get help. I don't trust Lybia. Yes they got water from the desert I saw it when I was there but I didn't talk to the people like Idid in Syria

7:36AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

This really worrys me because the government killed 22,000 in Hama in the late eighties because the people rebelled. They only have arranged marriages in Syria and the people have no rights. no dating Is this what you want in US. It might come to this BEWARE FIGHT FOR FREEDO. You could lose it

6:51AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Prays & hopes to Syria! May you join the free world soon!

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