21 civilians killed in Syria violence: activists

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Mar 5, 2010
NICOSIA: Twenty-one civilians were killed in violence in Syria on Saturday, with the security forces shooting dead 17 people and four killed by a rocket that targeted a pro-regime demonstration, a rights group said.

Eleven civilians were killed in the flashpoint central city of Homs, four of whom were at the demonstration, and another 10 were killed in the restive province of Idlib in the northwest, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP.

In Homs "the security forces opened fire on protesters, killing seven of them, said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads of the Britain-based Observatory.

Separately, "unknown elements fired an RPG rocket on Saturday evening at a pro-regime district where residents had gathered with candles to remember the victims of the bombing in Damascus, killing four and wounding numerous others," he added.

"In the Maaret Dabse locality of Idlib province, 10 civilians were killed when government forces fired on them indiscriminately," Abdel Rahman said.

Saturday's violence took place as thousands of regime supporters attended the funerals of 26 people killed in a suicide bombing in the Syrian capital the day before, which the government branded a "terrorist attack" and promised to avenge with "an iron fist."

Another 63 people were wounded in Friday's attack, which the opposition blamed on the regime itself, as it did after similar attacks in Damascus on December 23, in which 44 people died. (AFP)