Children Among Dead in Syria Crackdown
Syrian security forces fired on anti-government demonstrations across the country on Friday, killing at least 24 people — including several children — as the regime tries to choke off a 9-month-old uprising, activists said.
Some of the worst violence was reported in Homs, a city in central Syria that has emerged as the epicenter of the revolt against President Bashar Assad.
“The earth was shaking,” a Homs resident told The Associated Press by telephone, saying explosions and cracks of gunfire erupted in the early morning. “Armored personnel carriers drove through the streets and opened fire randomly with heavy machine guns.”
He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.
Despite the relentless bloodshed, Assad has refused to buckle to the pressure to step down and has shown no signs of easing his crackdown. The United Nations estimates more than 4,000 people have been killed in the military assault on dissent since March.
Two boys, ages 10 and 12, were hit by stray bullets Friday near government checkpoints in Homs, according to activists. At least two other young teenagers were killed elsewhere, the activists said.