Homs, northwest Syria strike to protest crackdown
AMMAN (Reuters) - People in the city of Homs and nearby areas of northwest Syria staged a general strike on Wednesday over President Bashar al-Assad's intensifying military crackdown on protesters, and two were killed in one town, activists and residents said.
They said most employees stayed home and most shops closed in the city of one million, and the strike was observed in wide swathes of the countryside around Homs and cities and towns in the northwestern province of Idlib near Turkey.
"Public employees participated for the first time. A few food shops have remained open,' said a resident of Homs, who gave his name as Omar. Youtube footage showed shuttered shops on both sides of a main street in the nearby rural region of Houla.
Two protesters were reported killed in the Idlib town of Maarat al-Numaan on the Damascus-Aleppo highway, where businesses had shut down, anti-Assad activists said.
"Everyone closed shop and a crowd of thousands assembled near the mosaics museum in the centre of the town, where they came under fire. The AMN (security police) are still firing at random to break the strike," a local resident said.
He was speaking by phone. The sound of machinegun fire was heard in the background.
Last week, businesses closed in the southern province of Deraa, which borders Jordan, in signs of expanding civil disobedience against 41 years of Assad family rule. The popular revolt is now in its eighth month.
"There is total closure. The streets of Deraa are empty, even the few butcher shops and pharmacies that were open are now closed," said Jasem Masalmeh, a resident of Deraa town.
(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Suleiman al-Khalidi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- São Paulo running out of water as rain-making Amazon vanishes
- Maker of U.S. highway guardrails stops shipments over safety concerns
- Woman isolated in NJ under Ebola rules tests negative
- Iran hangs woman convicted of killing alleged rapist
- Reuters Poll - India's growth pace to pick up as reforms draw investment
New York and New Jersey will automatically quarantine medical workers returning from Ebola-hit West African countries and the U.S. government is considering the same step after a doctor who treated patients in Guinea came back infected, officials said. Full Article | Slideshow
Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Syrian rebels to aid besieged Kobani. Full Article