Syrian opposition defiant after soldiers attack funeral

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Syrian opposition defiant after soldiers attack funeral

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Anti-regime activists have called for a “Day of Defiance” in Syria after troops opened fire on mourners during a funeral on Saturday.

It is claimed that 4 people died in the incident along with up to 20 others across the country. Reports of casualty claims are hard to verify because of restrictions on news correspondents ni Syria.

The funeral on the outskirts of Damascus turned into one of the largest demonstrations seen in the capital so far.

On the diplomatic front pressure is increasing on the the Syrian government, with Egypt recalling its ambassador and a visit by the Chinese vice foreign minister, despite China’s refusal to back a UN resolution on Syria.

Zhai Jun said: “China urges all parties concerned in Syria to stop the violence and jointly discuss a comprehensive political reform plan and mechanism.”

The uprising is leading to more and more Syrians crossing the border into Lebanon. The UN says 5,663 have been registered so far, but there may be many more families who are unregistered.

Meanwhile, one of Syria’s leading businessmen says its economy is being crippled by foreign sanctions. Faisal al-Qudsi, who is the son of a former president, said the military crackdown could only last six months.