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At least 25 dead, Syria demonstrators reach capital; Total internet blackout

Friday June 03, 2011 08:42:16 PM, Agencies

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Eight killed in fresh protests in Syria

Damascus: Syrian security forces shot dead at least 25 people while dispersing tens of thousands of demonstrators in the central city of Hama today, activists said, as anti-regime protests spread to Damascus.

Activists in the city told AFP by telephone in Nicosia that dozens of other people were wounded.

Security forces unleashed "intense gunfire" against a crowd of more than 50,000 people in Hama, according to Rami Abdel Rahman who heads the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It was the largest demonstration in Hama since the mid-March outbreak of an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, he said.

The official SANA news agency, however, reported "hundreds of people gathered after Friday prayers in Hama chanting diverse slogans" but that security forces and police had stayed away.

 

'Internet Blackout'

Internet services across Syria were down since Friday morning and the west Asian nation remained completely offline, the country's state telephone and internet service said.

"We have a problem. We are now striving to tackle it," a spokeswoman for the internet service said without giving further details.

Pro-democracy protests have been breaking out in Syria each Friday, the country's official holiday, over the last two and a half months. Activists organise the rallies through Facebook and Twitter.

Syrian authorities have several times severed internet connections in most rebellious territories to hamper the protests, but this is the first time that internet services across the country have been down.

Over 1,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the unrest in the country, Syrian rights activists claim.



 


 

 

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