Syrian Troops Take Omari Mosque in Daraa, 4 Dead

Syrian troops killed four people today at the Omari Mosque in Daraa, the besieged city where an uprising against the autocratic regime of President Basher al-Assad began six weeks ago.

Abdullah Abazeid, a Daraa resident, told The Associated Press the mosque was under siege for approximately 90 minutes. During this time, Abazeid said troops fired tank shells and heavy machine guns, while three helicopters dropped paratroopers onto the mosque.

The four deaths come a day after Syria's second deadliest day -- when 65 people were killed.

Security forces have surrounded the city for nearly a week, cutting off water, electricity and communications in an effort to deter protestors.

ABC News producer Nasser Atta spoke by phone with a Daraa resident who told Atta he could hear the shooting from his home.

"We cannot venture outside of our homes," the man told ABC News.

Elsewhere in Daraa, protestors in the tens of thousands took to the streets, tearing down pictures of President Assad.

In the capital city of Damascus, security forces kept approximately 50 female protesters from marching on parliament. The women carried signs saying "No to the siege" and "No to killing."

Activists said plainclothes security officers detained 11 of the women and put them on a bus that drove away.

In total, more than 500 people have been killed since the revolt began in mid-March -- even causing outrage in President Assad's ruling Baath party. To date, more than 300 members of the party, mostly low-level, have resigned.

ABC News' Nasser Atta, Alex Marquardt and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...