10 killed as Syrian security forces shoot at mourners

At least 10 mourners were killed on Saturday after Syrian security forces opened fire at people mourning slain protesters who died during a violent dispersal of a protest action a day earlier.

The mourners were taking part in the funeral processions in the Damascus suburb of Douma as part of a peaceful protest action to the killing of activists who took part in a series of mass demonstrations against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Thousands of Syrians in the last few weeks took to the streets their anti-government protests and demanded the immediate release of political prisoners, lifting of emergency and martial law, and withdrawal of intelligence forces from Syrian cities.

But on Saturday, the protests turned deadly when activists clashed it out with government security forcers in the violent dispersal where security forces have reportedly opened fire on people at random.

However, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported that at least seven people were allegedly killed “by the armed criminal groups” on Saturday in the town of Nawa, citing an official military source. No further details were provided as to how such armed criminal groups perpetrated the killings.

The Syrian government also added that two security personnel were killed in protest activities in al-Muadamiya and Homs. The news agency has reported that 38 police officers were injured in the clashes.

Responding the growing clamor for change, Syrian President al-Assad lifted on Thursday the country’s 48-year-old state of emergency and abolished the state security court. However, these did not satisfy the demands of the demonstrators.

On Sunday morning, protests continued in a suburb outside Syria’s capital with people waving candles and chanting, “the people want to topple the regime,” according to witnesses.

They added that the forces were firing in the air and at random targets as more than 10,000 protesters took to the streets.