Syria forces killed 28 protesters: rights activist

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Syrian security forces killed a total of 28 people on Saturday, human rights activists said Sunday.

Twenty-six died at the funerals of protesters killed in and around the southern agricultural town of Daraa, while two more were shot dead in the industrial town of Homs, in west central Syria.

"Police and security services broke up peaceful demonstrations on Saturday by firing live ammunition, causing the death of 26 people," six Syrian human rights group said in a joint statement.

Thousands of people attended the funerals of 17 people gunned down in Daraa, flashpoint of more than three weeks of anti-government protests, and another 10 killed in surrounding villages on Friday.

In addition, the groups say the authorities have been carrying out "arbitrary arrests" in different regions, and they said that 13 people had been detained in the Mediterranean coastal towns of Latakia and Jabla.

The statement called on the Syrian authorities to "face up to their responsibilities by bringing an end to the spiral of violence, to the murders and the bloodbath on the streets of Syria, whatever the origin of that violence."

The groups also expressed "their concern at the determination of the Syrian authorities to continue their violations of human rights and basic freedoms, such as the right to demonstrate peacefully and the freedom of opinion and expression".

The rights groups which signed the statement and say they have a list of the names of all 28 victims, included the Syrian National Organization for Human Rights, the Kurdish Committee for Human Rights and the Defense Committee for Democratic Freedom and Human Rights.

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