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At funeral, Syrian protesters chant for freedom

JTA

March 21, 2011 | 1:02 pm

Anti-government demonstrators chanted “God, Syria, freedom” at the funeral of a fellow protester in the southern Syrian city of Deraa.

The protesters at Monday’s funeral added to the chant, “The people want the overthrow of corruption,” Reuters reported. Black-uniformed security forces sporting assault rifles oversaw the proceedings.

It was the fourth day of anti-government demonstrations in Deraa; five protesters have been killed. Syrians also demonstrated Monday in the town of Jassem, according to reports citing activists.

Thousands had demonstrated in Deraa on Sunday for political freedom and an end to government corruption.

Syrian security forces killed four demonstrators on March 18 during a peaceful protest calling for the release of 15 children jailed for writing protest graffiti on buildings in the city. The children were released Monday.

The protests in Syria follow uprisings in several countries in the region, including Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen and Bahrain.

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