At least 14 people were killed when clashes erupted during anti-government protests held in the Syrian city of Homs, activists said on Monday.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Syria Sunday demanding more freedoms as they marked Evacuation Day, when French soldiers left the country 65 years ago and Syria proclaimed independence.
Activists wrote on the Syria Revolution 2011 page on Facebook that 50 others were injured in the city.
Protesters took to the streets in different cities on Sunday despite a promise by President Bashar al-Assad to lift the country’s 50-year-old state of emergency.
The anti-Assad rallies were also met with a group of pro-government demonstrators.
Meanwhile, the Syrian state agency SANA said that one policeman was killed and 11 police and security members were injured when a group of armed criminals opened fire on them in the town of Talbisa, near Homs, on Sunday.
“An official source at the Ministry of Interior said the armed group opened fire randomly, terrorizing citizens and cutting off public roads, noting that the police forces were unarmed and were keeping order,” SANA reported.
Syrian authorities have blamed “infiltrators” for stirring up unrest and aiding the opposition to protest against the regime.
A US State Department cable unveiled by WikiLeaks said that the US government secretly funded Syrian opposition groups and an anti-government television broadcast.
The recipient of the funds reportedly included the London—based satellite channel Barada TV, which began broadcasting in April 2009 and has had a heavy focus on coverage of the recent protests against al-Assad, The Washington Post reported.
Keywords: Syrina unrest