Security forces kill six in Syrian city: activists

CAIRO (Reuters) – Syrian security forces killed two people on Saturday and four on Friday in anti-government protests in the port city of Latakia, reformist activists living abroad told Reuters.

Protests erupted in Latakia in support of demonstrations in the southern town of Deraa, scene of mass protests against Baath Party rule, activists said.

“There have been at least two killed today after security forces opened fire on protesters trying to torch the Baath party building,” rights activist Ammar Qurabi told Reuters in Cairo.

Qurabi says he was getting his information online and by phone.

Exiled dissident Maamoun al-Homsi told Reuters by telephone from Canada: “I have the name of four martyrs who have fallen in Latakia yesterday.”

Official sources told Reuters that security forces had not fired at any protesters, but that five people had been killed in violence in Latakia, which is mostly Sunni Muslim but has significant numbers of Alawites — an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam from which the ruling establishment draws most of its members.

They said one security force member had been killed and one wounded. It was not clear if the dead officer was included in the official death toll.

The official Syrian news agency said armed groups had “shot citizens, passers-by and security forces” from rooftops in the city. It did not give details.

(Reporting by Dina Zayed in Cairo; Writing by Yara Bayoumy in Beirut; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Security forces kill six in Syrian city: activists