135 killed in fresh Syrian regime crackdown as rift develops in opposition group
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135 killed in fresh Syrian regime crackdown as rift develops in opposition group

Damascus : Syria | Feb 27, 2012 at 1:37 PM PST
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135 killed in fresh syrian regime crackdown as rift developed in opposition group

A Syrian activist group said Monday that 135 people have been killed across the country, including 64 who died while fleeing an embattled area in the central city of Homs.

The deaths were reported Monday by the Local Coordination Committees. Activists in the capital of Damascus said 10 people were injured when security forces fired on a funeral procession in Kfar Soussa.

Hicham Hassan, an International Committee of the Red Cross spokesman in Geneva, said that Red Cross teams reached Hama for the first time in more than a month on Monday, delivering food and other goods to the central Syrian city battered by a military crackdown on the anti-government uprising.

Meanwhile, several members of the Syrian National Council (SNC), the main coalition of opposition bodies to the Syrian regime, announced Sunday the creation of a rival organization, running the risk of further fragmenting the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

At least 20 Islamist and secular members of CNS have left the Council which was set up in Istanbul last year. The new body is headed by Haitham al-Maleh, a lawyer and former judge, long-time opponent to the Assad family. He was joined by Kamal al-Labwani, a leader of the opposition who spent six years in prison before being released in December.

"Syria has experienced some difficult months since the Syrian National Council was formed without achieving satisfactory results and without being able to meet the demands of the insurgents inside Syria," the group said in a statement.

"The previous mode of operation was in vain. We decided to form a group to take patriotic action to support the national effort to overthrow the regime by all means of resistance available, including support for the free Syrian Army," the statement read. The SNC is facing increasing pressure for several weeks to give its official support for an armed resistance against the Syrian regime.

Moreover, according Syria's State TV said Monday that 89% of voters approved the new document, while 9% rejected it. Less than 2% of the ballots were ruled invalid. It put turnout at 57% of eligible voters. Opposition groups boycotted Sunday's vote.

The new constitution will end five decades of Ba'ath party rule by allowing political pluralism, and it will also enact a presidential limit of two seven-year terms.

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Bashar Assad Photo: AFP
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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