Last updated: 28 February, 2012

Thousands protest in Syrian capital

Thousands of mourners took to the streets of the Syrian capital on Tuesday for the funerals of civilians killed in the regime’s crackdown on dissent, activists said.

“Thousands of people attended at noon the funeral of two martyrs killed on Sunday and Monday in Kfar Sousa,” a residential neighbourhood in western Damascus, said Mohammed al-Shami.

“The protesters were surrounded by security agents who threw tear-gas grenades,” said the spokesman of the Damascus chapter of the Local Coordination Committees, an umbrella group of anti-regime protesters.

The head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said 5,000 people took part in the funeral protest.

“At least 5,000 people, including a large number of students, marched in Kfar Sousa,” said Rami Abdel Rahman.

Damascus has seen relatively few protests since the dissent movement against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad erupted nearly a year ago.

“The number of protests is increasing as the repression worsens,” said Abdel Rahman.

Hundreds of protesters also filled the streets of the historic neighbourhood of Midan on Tuesday for the funeral of another civilian killed by regime forces, Shami said.

Mourners emerged from mosques and took to the streets, he said.

Demonstrations were also reported in the districts of Barzeh, Zamalka and Irbin near Damascus despite a massive deployment of security sources, activists said.

According to the Observatory, more than 30 students were arrested at Damascus University.