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    Tanks Are Deployed Near Syrian Mass Protest


    by NTDTelevision

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    Amateur video shows tanks and soldiers apparently in maneuvers, supposedly near a Syrian town where a mass anti-government protest is taking place. Soldiers move in and kill more protestors as they gather for funerals.

    Video filmed by Syrian activists shows two tanks and around two dozen soldiers conducting what appears to be maneuvers, purportedly near a town where a mass protest was underway on Sunday.

    Witnesses said the Syrian army deployed tanks at two locations over the past two days, at Izra'a and Nawa, both near Deraa.

    Location of the video was given as near Deraa, the cradle of the pro-democracy protests, which began five weeks ago.

    Thousands gathered in Nawa on Sunday to call for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad at a funeral for protesters who were killed by security forces in the southern town.

    A witness said four people were killed on Saturday in the town which is about 15 miles north of the city of Deraa, when they gathered to protest earlier shootings.

    At least 100 people were killed in Syria on Friday, the highest toll in the five weeks of unrest.

    Security forces shot protesters demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption in their country, ruled for 41 years by the Assad dynasty.

    Activists described Friday's killings as a turning point which exposed the hollowness of Assad's announcement that he was lifting a 48-year state of emergency and abolishing a hated state security court.

    At least 12 more people were killed on Saturday at mass funerals for the slain protesters, and rights campaigners said secret police raided homes near Damascus just after midnight on Sunday, arresting activists in the area.

    The hostile chants in Nawa on Sunday reflect a steady hardening of the demands of protesters who first called for greater freedoms but now seek his overthrow.