Scores of protesters shot dead in Syria
Published 30/12/2011 | 05:00
Syrian security forces shot dead dozens of protesters yesterday, including at least 11 in the capital Damascus, as the presence of Arab League peace monitors encouraged hundreds of thousands to take to the streets against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.
As many as 40 demonstrators were said to have been killed after the Arab League observers fanned out across four restive cities on the third day of their mission to enforce a peace deal.
In Damascus, troops opened fire on a crowd of more than 20,000 people as they awaited the arrival of peace monitors outside a mosque in the suburb of Douma. Soldiers also fired on civilians in the suburbs of Aarbin and Madamiya.
"They used tanks, they used machine-guns," Omar al-Khani, an activist in Damascus, said.
The unrelenting violence suggests the Assad regime is growing concerned at the effect of the Arab League's monitoring mission. (©Daily Telegraph, London)