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27 dead in Syria protests

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

27 dead in Syria protests

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(CNN) — Security forces fired on demonstrators during mass protests across Syria today, another bloody day of confrontation between government forces and demonstrators that resulted in at least 27 deaths.
The deaths came as thousands of Syrian protesters defiantly marched after Muslims’ weekly prayers, another showing of mass discontent toward the government.
An opposition leader in Homs confirmed four deaths and more than 30 wounded as security forces fired on demonstrators. Protesters raced from the main streets for cover, and have taken refuge in smaller streets and alleys where they are waiting for the situation to calm. An eyewitness said one of those slain was a 41-year-old demonstrator who was shot in the neck.
A witness in Douma said eight people died and around 25 were wounded when security forces fired on several thousand protesters. Riot police and secret police comprised the security forces and a sniper on a hospital roof was seen taking shots at people. Pellets and lethal rounds were used, the witness said, as people chanted for the downfall of the regime.
A doctor in the Damascus suburb of Moadamy said thousands of citizens were fired on in an “indiscriminate and disproportionate manner.” Three died and about 80 were injured, he said.
Five people were slain in the Damascus suburb of Zamalka, a witness said.
Wissam Tarif, a human rights activist, said security forces also fired on demonstrators in Izraa, located near the southern city of Daraa. He said demonstrators wanted to join the protesters in Daraa, but were shot as they advanced. Seven died and nine other people were wounded, he said.