SYRIA: Video shows armed pro-regime enforcers attacking demonstrators
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Dramatic and disturbing video footage from Friday’s anti-government protests in Syria against President Bashar Assad, in which Syrian activists say at least 22 people were killed, has emerged on the Internet.
In the clip below, purportedly filmed at a small protest in the southern town of Dara on Friday, a group of people is standing on a road as loud sounds of crackling gunfire are audible in the background.
As the sound of the gunfire intensifies, one young man suddenly falls to ground, apparently hit by a bullet from Assad troops. ‘He’s injured,’ the cameraman screams as the men in the street hurry to move the wounded person on the ground, apparently bleeding from his head, into safety behind a wall. Then they put him on a motorcycle parked nearby and drive him away.
Pro-government enforcers appeared to be out in full force, cracking down on potential troublemakers in areas in and around Damascus that have witnessed protests, including in the neighborhood of Medan, where what appears to be a uniformed officer with a large wooden stick is seen beating a man and hauling him away in the video posted below, filmed from a passing car. The Syrian activist network Local Coordination Committees in Syria (LCCSyria) says six civilians and three soldiers were killed and more than 10 people injured when the army and security forces stormed the town of Kiswe outside Damascus on Friday night.
The London-based rights group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement Saturday that one person was killed and 500 arrested in the Damascus suburb of Qadam when security forces raided the area early Saturday morning. The organization also said one person was killed when troops stormed the town of Boukamal on the Iraqi border.
Despite the government’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, however, protesters are increasingly taunting Assad’s troops and filming their violent activities from a close distance. Below, a clip said to have been shot Friday in the area of Knais in the costal city of Lattakia purportedly shows armed pro-government thugs known as Shabiha roaming an alley or street as cries of ‘God is great’ are heard in the background from surrounding buildings. ‘This is Shabiha shooting,’ the cameraman explains as one of the enforcers raises his rifle and points it at a building.
Meanwhile, in the Damascus suburb of Hajar Aswad, one person caught on camera the arrival Friday of busloads of what appears to be armed military personnel and plainclothes officers in baseball caps, some firing gunshots, according to this clip below.
-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut
Photo and video credit: YouTube