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SYRIA: Protests draw gunfire and chaos on the streets [Video]

June 17, 2011 |  7:09 am

Boys run for cover as military vehicles firing indiscriminately maneuver down a street in Dael, a town in the southern Syrian province of Dara. 

Syria-violence2 copy Children can be seen running in panic. One rides a bicycle, racing down the streets as gunfire erupts and and an armored vehicle follows quickly afterward.

Activists say a 16-year-old male was shot dead.

It was another day of peaceful nationwide political protests against the regime of Bashar Assad, followed by a violent crackdown by security forces.

Some of the protests were small or scattered, especially in towns under tight military control. But in cities like Hama, huge demonstrations broke out, as shown in the video below.

Security forces showed little restraint when opening fire on demonstrators, some not wearing shirts to show that they were unarmed. 

In this video, purportedly taken in the Syria's third largest city of Homs, demonstrators can be seen running away from gunfire, panicking as one of them is shot in the face and badly wounded. (Warning: video shows a lot of blood.)

Assad's spokesmen claim the protesters are unspecified "armed groups" getting weapons to kill citizens and soldiers. They've also claimed they are Islamic extremists. Syrian activists have struggled hard to counter the regime's version of events. In the video below, protesters in the city of Lattakia outline their demands in Chinese as well as Arabic. 

None of the videos could be independently verified.

But they all appear to have been freshly uploaded on Friday.

Babylon & Beyond regularly monitors citizen-journalist outlets to make sure old videos aren't passed off as new ones.

-- Los Angeles Times

Video credit: YouTube