Five More People Killed by Syrian Forces

Posted October 15th, 2011 at 7:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Syrian security forces killed at least five more people Saturday, including one person attending a funeral procession for a teenager in the capital Damascus.

Activists said the young man was among 11 people killed Friday when Syrian forces opened fire on anti-government protesters who rallied in several parts of the country. Another victim was an activist for the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights who was killed while in hiding in the east of the country.

Also Saturday, President Assad appointed a 29-member committee to draft a new constitution. The state-run SANA news agency said the panel will have four months to produce the new document.

Arab foreign minister are due to hold an emergency meeting in Cairo Sunday to discuss the Syrian crisis.

The move to draft a new constitution may be an attempt by Mr. Assad to address the growing international condemnation that he has been facing for his government's crackdown on dissent.

On Friday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that Syria's violent repression could drive the country into full-blown civil war.

Her office said more than 3,000 people had been killed since the anti-government protests began earlier this year.

Damascus has blamed much of the deadly violence on gunmen or “terrorist” groups.