Syria mourners ‘attacked by security forces’


At least three killed and 27 injured in Homs, witness tells Al Jazeera, as thousands mourn protesters killed on Friday
Three mourners have been killed and at least 27 wounded in Homs after security forces opened fire on a massive funeral procession, according to human rights activists.
Those killed on Saturday have been named as Sharif Ihsan al-Sbai, Abdalla al-Dali and Murhaf al-Nemr, a witness told Al Jazeera.
More than 40,000 people had gathered in Homs for the funerals of protesters killed in the city on Friday and were walking back from the cemetery in Tal al Nasser on the outskirts of the city when they were fired on without warning, a witness said.
The sound of gunfire and cries to help the wounded were audible over the phone as Al Jazeera spoke to the eyewitness.
The wounded have been taken to private clinics and homes as people feared the secret police would raid and arrest the injured from the main state hospital, he said, as they had done in previous such attacks.
The AFP news agency said the death toll was five after the funerals on Saturday.
“Tens of thousands had accompanied the funeral procession from the city’s main mosque to Tal al-Nasr cemetery,” according to the AFP’s local source who was reached by phone.

“The shooting began as people were coming out of the cemetery.”

Al Jazeera cannot verify reports from Syria because of restrictions placed on reporting by the Syrian government.

The death toll in Friday’s anti-government protests rose to 47 according to Insan, a Syrian human rights organisation which has gathered the names of those killed.

Earlier in Homs, a witness told Al Jazeera that security forces opened fire on mourners and shot into the air to disperse crowds leaving the Grand Mosque, but left the scene, retreating in tanks as the size of the funeral procession overwhelmed them.

He said that the massive procession converged from funerals at various mosques around the city.

“When we gather in large numbers we show our power. As individuals we are strong, but this is a stronger
message,” the witness told Al Jazeera. “We encouraged people to join us on this funeral march and people of all backgrounds and religions did.”

The size of Saturday’s crowd could offer a hint as to the level of grassroots support for anti-government protests which have been ongoing since mid-March, and have reportedly seen the deaths of over 850 Syrians at the hands of government security forces.

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