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Syria security forces shoot dead 16 as Sunni city of Aleppo sees first killing

Friday protests erupt a tens of thousands rally against President Assad's rule; first protester killed in Syria's second city Aleppo - a commercial hub with a rich merchant class with links to the Alawite ruling hierarchy.

By Reuters via Haaretz

June 17, 2011 | 10:15 am

Security forces shot dead 16 protesters at several demonstrations across Syria on Friday demanding the removal of President Bashar Assad, a main activists’ group coordinating protests said.

The deaths included the first protester to be killed in Syria’s second city, the commercial hub of Aleppo, the Local Coordination Committees said in a statement.

The group said it had the names of the 16 civilians, among them three killed in Damascus suburbs and eight in Homs, a city of one million people where the presence of tanks and troops has not stopped people from holding big protests demanding political freedom and an end to Assad’s autocratic rule.

Syrian human rights campaigner Ammar Qurabi said Central Security personnel had shot dead one demonstrator in Aleppo when they fired at several hundred protesters in Saif al-Dawla, a major street in the city center.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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