Defiant Syria suburb awaits its protest dead


AMMAN – Hundreds of Syrians chanted “freedom” as they gathered early on Sunday to receive home wounded protesters in Douma, the Damascus suburb taking the fight closest to President Bashar al-Assad’s seat of power.
Some 50 wounded arrived in secret police cars around midnight in Municipality Square, where at least five were killed on Friday when rights activists said security forces fired at protesters demanding political freedoms and an end to graft.
Thousands took to the streets in major cities after Friday prayers, defying the security forces who fired teargas and live ammunition and used batons to try to disperse protesters who have dismissed reform gestures by Assad.
Secret police agents gave the names of 25 people in hospital with serious injuries, a witness in Douma said, adding that the authorities had promised to deliver the bodies to families of the dead before noon prayers. “Society figures made it clear to the authorities that Douma wants its dead. We are expecting 15,” one resident said.