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Cops Disperse Syrian Funeral for Protesters

A crowd of 20,000 people at a funeral for six slain protesters in the southern Syrian town of Dara’a was dispersed by police with tear gas and truncheons Saturday.

Anti-government protests broke out in four Syrian cities Friday. –JCL

The New York Times:

More than 20,000 people marched Saturday in the southern Syrian town of Dara’a in funerals for protesters killed in demonstrations the day before, and the police used truncheons and tear gas to disperse the mourners.

Protests broke out in four cities on Friday, a rare event in a police state that brutally represses dissent. At the largest one, a march of several thousand people in Dara’a, a police crackdown killed six people.

The funeral procession on Saturday became a protest in its own right, with marchers calling for more freedoms and an end to Syria’s longstanding emergency law, witnesses said. They chanted, “The people want an end to corruption,” and, “The blood of our martyrs won’t be forgotten.” They repeated the demands made in the march on Friday: that the mayor and a local security chief should be fired for their role in arresting of a group of children two weeks ago for writing protest graffiti.

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