At least six protestors were killed in an attack by Syrian forces of order over the night – just after midnight – on the Al-Omari mosque in Deraa, a city located 120 km south of Damascus and epicentre of anti-regime protests which for six days have been flaring up in southern Syria. Reports were from eyewitnesses and city residents. The sources said that ”dozens were injured”, and that among those killed was Ali Ghassab Al-Mahmid, a doctor from an important family in Deraa who had gone to the mosque in the Old City to provide medical aid to those injured in the attack. ”The police used firepower and threw tear gas canisters against protestors”, who had been staging a sit-in around the mosque while chanting slogans against the regime, reported an activist from a human rights organisation. ”Electricity was cut and shots began immediately afterwards,” he said, while protestors filled the night air with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God is Great’). Over a thousand people had gathered in the street in front of the Al-Omari mosque. Surrounded by a large number of police, some of whom sent from Damascus, protestors had formed a sort of human chain around the mosque out of fear of an attack by the police in order to break up the sit-in. For days state-run media have been blaming ”infiltrators”, provocateurs” and ”foreigners” of instigating the incidents in Deraa, where at least 10-12 people have been killed. (ANSAmed)

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