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No longer peace plan, at least 23 killed by Syrian troops

No longer peace plan, at least 23 killed by Syrian troops

Syrian troops killed at least 23 people Friday when demonstrators took to the streets denouncing “despots and tyrants,” as world powers cast doubt on the regime’s commitment to an Arab peace deal.

Troops raked several residential neighbourhoods of Homs -- a city of some one million people that has been at the frontline of protests raging since mid-March -- with heavy machineguns mounted on tanks, a watchdog said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 23 people were killed acrossSyria, nine of them in Homs.

Further north in Hama, four civilians were shot, while seven people were killed in the town of Kanaker, outside the capital, and a protester was shot dead by security forces in Damascus.

Two more people were killed, one of them an army deserter, when troops opened fire on a group of people trying to slip across the border into Jordan, the Britain-based Observatory said.

Four policemen were also wounded, two critically, in clashes with an “armed terrorist group” in Kanaker, the state-run SANA news agency reported, adding that one of the gunmen was killed in the fighting.

The agency also denied reports that dozens of people were arrested in Banias, quoting the governor of Tartus where the Mediterranean coastal city is located.

Earlier the Observatory said that “four children closely related to Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman” were among those seized in Banias.

Video footage posted on YouTube showed dozens of demonstrators, some masked, marching through the historic Midan neighbourhood of Damascus, chanting anti-Assad slogans.

Protesters in Harasta just outside Damascus, described Assad as a “liar” who has no intention of implementing the Arab roadmap.

Demonstrators also chanted: “Allah will overcome tyrants and despots” -- echoing the slogan of Friday’s protests which activists called to “validate” whether the government was implementing terms of the Arab peace deal.

Updated : 2022-01-17 06:28 GMT+08:00