Syrians rally for Assad | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 27, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 27, 2011

Syrians rally for Assad

19 more killed including 9 soldiers


Bashar al-Assad

Tens of thousands of people rallied in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus yesterday, as activists said 19 more people, including nine government soldiers, died in the latest violence.
The demonstrators, waving Syrian flags and brandishing pictures of Assad, swarmed to Omayyad square in the heart of Damascus for the rally, chanting, "The people want Bashar al-Assad."
State news agency SANA said the demonstration was being held under the banner, "Long live the homeland and the chief of the homeland; the Syrian people are one family."
Coinciding with the mass show of support, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that 19 more people, including nine government soldiers, had been killed in the unrest pitting Assad loyalists and opponents.
Clashes between security forces and soldiers who have deserted and joined the opposition calling for the ouster of Assad, have become more frequent in recent week, particularly in the centre of the country.
The observatory said that four civilians, including an 18-month-old baby, had also been killed and 17 others wounded by security forces in the central Homs region, one of the bastions of the Syrian opposition.
The pro-Assad rally came as an Arab delegation led by Qatar was headed for Damascus for mediation between the Syrian government and its opponents.
Headed by Qatar, the delegation includes the foreign ministers of Algeria Egypt, Oman and Sudan, in addition to Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi. It was due to begin talks with Syrian officials in the capital mid-afternoon.

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