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Syria activists say 37 killed as cease-fire continues to unravel

May 4, 2012 |  1:59 pm

Syria (9)
BEIRUT -- Activists in Syria reported at least 37 people killed across the country Friday as security forces fired at several antigovernment protests and continued shelling cities.  

Protesters calling for the ouster for President Bashar Assad came out across Syria, and many were met with gunfire, which activists say is evidence that the government is violating the 3-week-old United Nations-backed cease-fire.

In the Damascus neighborhood of Midan, where at least eight people were killed last week in a suicide bombing, demonstrators were attacked by security forces, an activist group reported. Video said to have been made inside the Zein Abidin mosque, near where the bomb went off last week, showed worshipers chanting anti-government slogans. 

In another neighborhood, Tadamun, video showed protesters hiding behind buildings as uniformed and plainclothes government forces fired at them to disperse the crowd. As the  troops walked away, the protesters chased them and threw stones, leading to more gunfire and at least one man being shot.  Activists said 10 people were killed in Tadamun and another neighborhood.

Meanwhile, forces reportedly launched heavy mortar shells at Dumeir, a suburb of Damascus, for several hours. Several homes, a school and a mosque were damaged, but there was no word on injuries or deaths, activists said.  

Activists said government forces also shelled towns in the northwest province of Idlib and in the southern province of Dara.


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Photo: Syrian protesters hold a banner and shout slogans during a demonstrationFriday  against Syrian President Bashar Assad at Kfar Nebel village in Idlib province. Credit: Shaam News Network