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SYRIA: 12-year-old reported killed during protests in Homs

May 8, 2011 |  7:36 am

Lkvq29nc Syrian activists said a 12-year-old was killed Sunday during anti-government protests in the western city of Homs.

Activists identified the boy as Kasem Zuhair Alahmad, saying he was killed during shooting and shelling in Homs that continued Sunday afternoon as the city's electricity and communications were severed.

The report could not be independently verified.

Ammar Qurabi, chairman of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria, said he was still working to confirm the boy's name, as well as those of others wounded in ongoing clashes with security forces in Homs and the coastal city of Baniyas on Sunday.

Qurabi, reached by phone in Damascus, said contacts in Baniyas told him the Syrian army had entered the city with tanks and was still patrolling Sunday.

He said least six people had been killed, including four women who were fatally shot by security forces after they demanded the release of their relatives, who had been detained.

Security forces also shot at protesters in several areas of Homs on Sunday, he said.

“It’s terrible the violent solution by the Syrian regime against the people,” he said.

“Most of Syria now has seen crimes by the Syrian regime.”

Qurabi said at least 600 people had been killed and 8,000 arrested since anti-government protests began seven weeks ago.

“These are not just protesters — they are writers, journalists, human rights activists, women — all segments of society in Syria,” he said.

He rejected claims by state media that protesters were terrorists and religious extremists.

“That’s not correct. All the videos show that. These are civilian people who want freedom, just freedom, that’s it,” he said.

Qurabi called on U.S. officials and other leaders in the region to intervene and stop President Bashar Assad's violent crackdown on protesters.

“The future depends on the position of the international delegation, the position of America and other Arab countries,” he said.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Cairo

Photo: A mobile phone snapshot shows a Syrian soldier patrolling the streets of Damascus on Sunday. Credit: Associated Press

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