Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Syria activists call strike


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Damascus: A general strike was being observed on Monday in several regions of Syria to step up the pressure on the regime, activists said, as fears grew of an “invasion” of the besieged protest hub of Homs.

In the latest bloodshed, 10 civilians were killed across Syria on Monday, including two children in the city of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Four people, two of them children, were killed by heavy machinegun fire in Homs, the group said, adding that 16 were also wounded in the separate Homs neighbourhood of Deir Baalbeh when security forces opened fire from heavy machineguns during raids, said the Observatory.

Two civilians were also killed by heavy machinegun fire in Kfar Takharim, in Idlib province bordering Turkey, where deserters and troops fought heavy clashes, the group said, adding that two troop transports were set ablaze.

Elsewhere, a 16-year-old boy was killed as security forces opened fire in Tafas, in Daraa province of southern Syria, where three armoured cars were set ablaze and several people were wounded in a similar confrontation.

A man who was abducted by regime forces earlier on Monday was later found dead in the Daraa town of Jassem, the Observatory said, while a man and a woman were killed by sniper fire in Douma, near Damascus.

The casualties raised to more than 60 the number of people reported killed since Friday.The general strike was being “very widely observed” in Daraa province, cradle of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad that broke out in mid-March.

The Observatory said shops also kept their shutters down in most parts of Jabel al-Zawiya, another town in Idlib, on Monday, the start of the working week.

The Observatory said schoolchildren and civil servants stayed at home, although life carried on as normal in central districts of Damascus. In the wake of the general strike, activists are planning a campaign of civil disobedience to shut down universities, public transport, the civil service and major highways. (AFP)


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