Syrian security forces 'fire on funeral'
Fresh violence is said to have erupted as residents in Daraa bury those killed in Friday's protests.
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2011 14:56
Syrian security forces opened fire on mourners near the old Omari mosque in the southern border city of Daraa following a mass funeral for dead pro-democracy protestors,
witnesses told the Reuters news agency.
The witnesses said security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse thousands of Syrians who were chanting freedom slogans after assembling close to the mosque in the old quarter of the city near the border with Jordan on Saturday.
This comes after residents in the Sunni district of Latakia said security forces used live ammunition in the early hours of Saturday to disperse a pro-democracy protest by hundreds of people there.
Protests have spread across Syria, challenging the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, and dozens of demonstrators have been killed.
A Syrian rights group - the National Organisation for Human Rights - has said at least 37 were killed across the country on Friday alone.
The group said that 30 people were killed in the southern city of Deraa, the centre of protests. Three more people died in the central city of Homs and three in Harasta, a Damascus suburb, as well as one in Douma.
"Probably the protests yesterday were the most widespread since they began less than a month ago," Al Jazeera's Rula Amin said from the capital Damascus.
"People [in Daraa] are telling us thousands are expected to take part in the funerals of those who were killed and they insist on their version of events that it was the security forces who shot at their sons."
"What is happening in Syria is a flagrant violation of [human rights]," the National Organisation for Human Rights said in a statement.
"The Syrian security committed [in Daraa] what could be called a crime against humanity ... It fired indiscriminately on protesters and killed and wounded tens of them."