9 Killed in Syria’s Anti-government Unrest

Posted December 10th, 2011 at 11:25 am (UTC-5)
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Activists say Syrian forces have opened fire on protesters who had gathered at a funeral for a child, killing at least four people.

The activists say the unrest the northwestern Idlib province was among several deadly incidents on Saturday. They also say three civilians were killed in the central Homs region after gunfire erupted near a security checkpoint. Witnesses say Syrian forces had increased their presence in the flashpoint Homs region.

Opposition activists say anti-government related unrest also left at least three people dead in other regions.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been facing mounting international pressure to end a crackdown on dissent that the United Nations says has claimed more than 4,000 lives.

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu urged Mr. Assad to punish the “murders” and implement Arab League initiatives designed to end the unrest.

Meanwhile, anti-government activists are calling for a nationwide strike, beginning Sunday, in an attempt to bring down the regime through civil disobedience.

The opposition Local Coordination Committee is urging citizens to hold sit-ins, close facilities and to refuse to work in the public sector.