At least nine killed in Syria by security forces: watchdog

AFP , Saturday 10 Dec 2011

Human rights groups count nine civilians killed by the Assad regime's security forces Friday, some from torture

Syrian security forces on Saturday shot and killed nine civilians, four of them when they opened up with live ammunition and tear gas on mourners at a child's funeral, a human rights group reported.

"Four civilians were killed on Saturday after shots and tear gas were fired during the funeral of a child who was killed last night [Friday] in the city of Maaret Numan" in the northwestern province of Idlib, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Three more civilians were killed by gunfire from security checkpoints in the flashpoint central city of Homs and two more died in the southern Daraa province, cradle of almost nine months of anti-regime protests, it added.

In a statement received in Nicosia, the Britain-based Observatory also reported the deaths of four other people who had been wounded in recent days, including three abducted three weeks ago by the security forces and who "died under torture."

At least 41 civilians were killed by Syrian forces on Friday when they fired on protesters who took to the streets across the country after calls by activists urging citizens to rally against the regime, the group said.

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