Civilian and policeman killed: Demonstrators storm Syrian government building

Killed civilian and policeman
Demonstrators storm Syrian government building

Normally, Suwayda is an area loyal to the government, but the poor economic situation has changed the mood: stones are thrown at a government building and a portrait of the dictator Bashar al-Assad is torn up. Security forces respond with shots. Two people die.

A civilian and a police officer were killed during a protest in a pro-government region of Syria against President Bashar al-Assad. In southern Suwayda, which is majority Druze, angry protesters threw stones at a government building, eyewitnesses and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Some set fire to a vehicle belonging to the security forces. They fired shots to disperse the demonstrators. Some demonstrators stormed the government building, removed a portrait of Assad from the facade and tore it up.

According to the Observatory, one civilian was killed and seven others injured. A police officer was killed when demonstrators tried to storm a police station. A protester said at least 30 people were injured by gunfire in front of the government building. “Hundreds” of people gathered for the demonstration, demonstrating against the poor living conditions in the civil war-torn country and calling for Assad’s fall.

The government accused a “group of bandits” of setting fire to a building and firing indiscriminately. They also tried to break into the local police station, causing the policeman’s death, the interior ministry said, according to the state news agency Sana.

The majority of people living in Suwaida are Druze, a branch of Shiite Islam, and a religious minority in the Arab country. Most of the residents are Assad supporters. In the past two years, however, there have been several protests in Suwaida due to the poor economic situation. A civil war has been raging in Syria for more than ten years, in which the UN estimates that more than 300,000 civilians have been killed.

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