18 May 2011

'Dozens killed' in Syrian border town

Syria's army and security forces killed at least 27 civilians in a three-day tank-backed attack on the border town of Tel Kelakh to subdue pro-democracy protesters, a rights lawyer told Al Jazeera.

"There are 27 confirmed names. An unknown number of bodies were taken to the main hospital in Tel Kelakh and not handed over to their families," Razan Zaitouna said on Wednesday. Tel Kelakh is a few kilometres from Lebanon's northern border with Syria.


On Tuesday, security agents violently dispersed university students protesting against Bashar al-Assad, the president, in the country's second-largest city Aleppo, a human rights activist said. The AP news agency quoted Mustafa Osso as saying that dozens were injured after the protesting students were attacked with batons on Tuesday.

He said many of the students were chased into their dormitories and badly beaten. The university has seen several anti-regime demonstrations in the past weeks.

Rights activists say a crackdown to crush a two-month wave of protests against Assad has killed at least 700 civilians.

Syrian tanks also moved into a southern city on the Hauran Plain on Tuesday after encircling it for three weeks, activists said. Soldiers fired machineguns as tanks and armoured personnel carriers entered Nawa, a city of 80,000 people 60km north of the town of Deraa, according to activists from the region.

Al Jazeera