First Published: 2011-04-19

 

Syria vows to suppress 'armed revolt'

 

Syria clears protest by force following massive sit-in demonstration in central city of Homs.

 

Middle East Online

20,000 demonstrators occupied the main square of Homs

DAMASCUS – Syrian security forces opened fire on a massive sit-in demonstration in the central city of Homs overnight, sending thousands of protesters scattering, rights activists said Tuesday.

"The sit-in was dispersed with force. There was heavy gunfire," an activist reached by telephone in Damascus said, without being able to give details of possible casualties.

Other Syrian activists living in exile confirmed the reports but said they had not been able to get further details due to telephone communications being cut in Homs.

Activists had said more than 20,000 demonstrators on Monday occupied the main square of Homs, some erecting tents, a day after 11 people were killed by security forces in the industrial city and a nearby town during a day of massive nationwide protest.

Inspired by popular uprisings which toppled hardline rulers in Tunisia and Egypt, the protesters had vowed not to leave Al-Saa Square in the centre of Homs until the regime of President Bashar al-Assad fell.

They dismissed as insufficient a weekend pledge by Assad that he would lift nearly five decades of draconian emergency law and demanded the release of all political prisoners and an end to arbitrary arrests.

The interior ministry issued a warning late Monday that it would suppress an "armed revolt" undermining security in the country.

"The latest incidents have shown that... armed Salafist groups, particularly in the cities of Homs and Banias, have openly called for armed revolt," said a ministry statement carried by the official SANA news agency.

It accused such groups of killing soldiers, policemen and civilians, and of attacking public and private property, and warned that "their terrorist activities will not be tolerated."

The authorities "will act with determination to impose security and stability in the country" and will "pursue the terrorists wherever they are in order to bring them to justice and end the armed revolt", it said.

The ministry called on people to "name the places where the terrorists and suspects are and not to allow them to live among them".

Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Syria will proceed with reforms as promised, but warned against "sabotage" by protesters, SANA reported.

At least 200 people have been killed by security forces or plain-clothes police since the start of the protest movement, according to Amnesty International.

Meanwhile the United States acknowledged supporting non-government groups and civil society to bolster democracy in Syria but declined to comment directly on a WikiLeaks report it was secretly financing opposition groups.

 

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Syria presidential candidates to begin registering soon

Kuwait MP: No citizenship is punishable by isolation

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa

Undercover New York police unit that spied on Muslims disbanded

Washington will not issue visa for Iran UN envoy

British paedophile gets 20-year sentence in Morocco

Syria army fights its way into besieged Homs

Invisible Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’

Iraq Kurdistan digs trench to prevent militant infiltration from Syria

Saudi urges stern world action against Syria

Zarif mission to mend Iran-Gulf ties begins in UAE

Results of Egypt vote appear before time in collection of signatures

South Sudan rebels demand firms end oil production

Jordan court sentences Syrian smugglers to five years in prison

Security concerns force Iraq to shut notorious Abu Ghraib prison

Turkey to social media companies: Open offices and pay taxes