Activists: 18 Killed in Syria Protests

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Demonstrators protesting against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad march through the streets of Homs after Friday prayers on 11 November 2011. (Photo: REUTERS - Handout)

By: Antoun Issa

Published Friday, November 11, 2011

Another day of anti-regime protests throughout Syria saw 18 people killed Friday, according to opposition reports, as the Arab League prepares to discuss the violence Saturday.

Homs once again bore the brunt of the violence, when hundreds of soldiers swept through the Bayada neighborhood in armored vehicles, according to updates by Syria’s Local Coordination Committees (LCC).

The LCC reported that government troops killed 11 protesters in Homs, 4 in Daraa, 2 in Hama and 1 in Idlib.

The LCC also said tanks and snipers were deployed throughout Syria's flashpoints.

Friday's deaths bring to a close a bloody week in Syria as a deadly government crackdown on protests has led to over 150 deaths throughout the country.

The UN this week placed the total death toll since the uprising began at over 3,500.

The violence comes just over a week after an Arab League peace initiative to end the bloodshed was endorsed by the Assad regime.

The mounting death toll has prompted the Arab League to hold a special ministers' meeting tomorrow in Cairo to discuss the Syrian crisis.

Much criticism has been leveled at Syrian government actions in Homs, with Human Rights Watch (HRW) accusing the regime of committing “crimes against humanity” in the city.

HRW has urged the Arab League to suspend Syria's membership in the body in light of its ongoing crackdown on protesters. This week was dubbed by protest organizers as the week of “suspending membership.”

Spokeswoman for the United Nations Human Rights Office, Ravina Shamdasani, described the situation in Homs as “particularly appalling.”

Landmines on Lebanon border

Meanwhile, landmines planted by Syrian forces along Lebanon's northern border claimed their first casualties.

Two Lebanese men were injured, one critically, when they stepped on a mine planted only hours earlier by Syrian troops, a local official told AFP.

Imad Khaled Oweyshi had his leg blown off as he was crossing the border from Syria into Lebanon, the official said.

The man accompanying Oweyish was wounded by shrapnel from the mine.

The mines have been planted on the Syrian side of the border, near the border village of Wadi Wawiyat, where the mine exploded.

Breakdown of deaths this week

The following statistics were provided by the LCC, detailing the number of deaths this week in Syria:

November 11: 18 total killed; 11 in Homs, 4 in Daraa, 2 in Hama, 1 in Idlib

November 10: 36 total killed; 15 in Homs, 10 in Idlib, 5 in Hama, 3 in Daraa, 2 in Erbeen (Damascus), 1 in Harasta (Damascus)

November 9: 28 total killed; 9 in Homs, 7 in Barzeh (Damascus), 1 in Doumna (Damascus), 3 in Daraa, 2 in Tartous, 2 in Idlib, 2 in Hama, 1 in Qamishli, 1 in Bou Kamal.

November 8: 16 total killed; 7 in Homs, 5 in Idlib, 3 in Hama, 1 in Daraa

November 7: 11 total killed; 8 in Homs, 2 in Hama, 1 in Idlib

November 6: 21 total killed: 15 in Homs, 3 in Hama, 2 in Idlib, 1 in Latakia

November 5: 28 total killed; 23 in Homs, 2 in Idlib, 1 in Hama, 1 in Deir az Zour, 1 in Raqqa

(al-Akhbar, AFP)

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