Syria uprising

Beirut, April 23: Syrian security forces fired their weapons into crowds of mourners in at least three towns today, as tens of thousands of Syrians buried protesters killed a day earlier in the worst bloodshed since the Syrian uprising began last month. Human rights activists and witnesses said at least six people were killed today.

The new violence came as the death toll from yesterday, one of the bloodiest days in the so-called Arab Spring, reached 104 people, a number that activists said was likely to rise as more bodies were returned to their families.

The bloodshed today followed a pattern seen frequently in the tumult that has swept the Arab world. Funerals turn to protests, where more are killed by security forces bent on crushing dissent against authoritarian leaders. While today???s death toll paled in comparison with yesterday???s, it suggested that the country might be entering a prolonged period of turmoil, as protesters mount the greatest challenge to four decades of rule by the Assad family.

The government of President Bashar al-Assad has struggled to cope with the unrest, offering concessions that would have been startling at one time, while using violence against those who persist in demonstrations.

Though the revolt has drawn large numbers into the streets since it started on March 15, it has yet to achieve the critical mass of revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. However, organisers say they believe the bloodshed may draw more people into



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