Several amateur videos uploaded on social media platforms shows the residents taking to the streets in Syria’s capital Damascus demanding the end to the al-Assad rule.
Meanwhile, police and militia patrols fanned out in the Syrian capital’s Mezze district on Sunday to prevent more protests, opposition activists said.
Samer al-Khatib, a young protester killed when security forces fired on Saturday’s rally, was buried in Mezze on Sunday amid a heavy security presence to prevent the funeral from turning into an anti-Assad demonstration, opposition activists contacted by Reuters from Amman said.
Fifteen pick-up trucks carrying security police and armed pro-Assad militiamen, known as ‘shabbiha’, surrounded the funeral as Khatib was buried quietly, they said.
Police cars and militia jeeps patrolled Mezze while secret police stopped men at random to check identification cards, they said. “Walking in Mezze now carries the risk of arrest. The area is quiet, even popular food shops in Sheikh Saad are empty,” activist Moaz al-Shami said, referring to a main street.
The Damascus protest indicated the movement against Assad, who has ruled Syria for 11 years after succeeding his father Hafez on his death, has not been cowed by repression and embraces a wide section of Syrian society.
Assad, who belongs to the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, in a majority Sunni country, says he is fighting foreign-backed terrorists.
The United States, Europe, Turkey and Gulf-led Arab states have all demanded Assad quit power.