The UN says more than 4,000 people have been killed in the nine-month uprising in Syria
A Syrian tank patrols the streets of Homs in August 2011. Syrian security forces have shot dead five civilians in Homs province, a day after at least 30 people died in violence in the flashpoint central region, a human rights group said © Joseph Eid - AFP
The UN says more than 4,000 people have been killed in the nine-month uprising in Syria
AFP
Last updated: December 5, 2011

Syrian forces kill five civilians in Homs

Syrian security forces on Monday shot dead five civilians in Homs province, a day after at least 30 people died in violence in the flashpoint central region, a human rights group said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported mutinous soldiers killed four security force members, including an officer, at the southern protest hub of Dael in Daraa province.

A regime truck was also set ablaze during Monday's attack, the Observatory said, adding hundreds of Syrian forces deployed in the town where raids and arrests were under way.

Forces also arrested 18 students, eight of them in the coastal town of Jabla, for allegedly insulting President Bashar al-Assad, as they pressed on with a crackdown on dissent.

Another group of activists meanwhile reported that Syrian authorities arrested blogger Razan Ghazzawi at the border with Jordan as she headed to Amman to take part in a workshop on press freedom.

"Four civilians were killed and five others wounded when shots were fired from a security checkpoint at a funeral in the Homs city neighbourhood of Deir Balaa," the Observatory said in a statement received in Nicosia.

A fifth civilian was shot and killed by security forces near the city's public hospital.

Near Damascus 10 students who took part in an anti-regime protest in the district of Harasta were arrested by the security forces, who also detained eight high school students in the Mediterranean town of Jabla.

The students in Jabla, in western Syria, were "accused of insulting President Assad," the Observatory said, adding the allegations were made by "informants inside the school."

The Observatory also reported harassment of university students by pro-regime students and security forces in the coastal city of Latakia.

The watchdog also said 30 students studying at Latakia's Tishrin University from Daraa, cradle of the anti-regime protests, were detained and another 60 were expelled.

It did not say when the arrests occurred but stressed "that these students were threatened by their peers, subjected to pressure, abuse and insults over sectarian loyalties."

The latest reports of bloodshed and arrests come as the foreign ministry said it has "responded positively" to a request by the Arab League to allow in observers as part of a peace plan to end the unrest.

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