Policemen shot dead near Damascus

Two officers on patrol attacked near suburb where eight protesters were killed last week.

     

    A protest in south Syria against state corruption last week drew thousands [YouTube]

    Two Syrian police officers are reported to have been shot dead by unknown gunmen near the capital Damascus.

    Hassan Moala and Hamid Khatib were carrying out a "normal patrol" when they were fired upon in Kafr Batna, Syrian state TV said on Tuesday.

    The area is near the Damascus suburb of Douma, where security forces on Friday shot dead at least eight protesters who were taking part in a large demonstration demanding political freedom and an end to corruption.

    Meanwhile, Syrian activists have called for a new wave of demonstrations to commemorate the memories of more than 80 people killed in a crackdown against anti-government protests that erupted nearly three weeks ago.

    "The Syrian Revolution 2011" Facebook page called for three days of protests across the country, dubbing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday "Martyrs Week".

    By Tuesday, the page had more than 105,000 "fans".

    President Bashar Assad has made a series of gestures toward reform in response to the growing cries for change, including sacking his cabinet and promising to set up committees to look into reform.

    But protesters say the moves do not satisfy their demands for real change in one of the most authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.

    Also on Tuesday, Syria suspended all football matches - in an apparent bid to avoid gatherings that may turn into a rallying point for anti-government protests.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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