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Syriske soldater som har nektet å følge ordre om å skyte på befolkningen, er blitt drept av sikkerhetsstyrker, melder øyenvitner. Det kan forklare påstander fra regimet om at flere soldater er skutt. De har selv skutt dem.

Witnesses told al-Jazeera and the BBC that some soldiers had refused to shoot after the army moved into Banias in the wake of intense protests on Friday.

Human rights monitors named Mourad Hejjo, a conscript from Madaya village, as one of those shot by security snipers. «His family and town are saying he refused to shoot at his people,» said Wassim Tarif, a local human rights monitor.

Footage on YouTube shows an injured soldier saying he was shot in the back by security forces, while another video shows the funeral of Muhammad Awad Qunbar, who sources said was killed for refusing to fire on protesters. Signs of defections will be worrying to Syria’s regime. State media reported a different version of events, claiming nine soldiers had been killed in an ambush by an armed group in Banias.

Situasjonen eskalerer uavlatelig. Myndighetene kjenner bare en metode: jernhansken, og bruker den, flittig. Men det nytter ikke lenger. Det bare gjør folk rasende.

Regimet benytter seg av bøller som drar rundt og juler opp folk. Det befordrer lovløse tilstander. Det ryktes at noen protestanter skal ha benyttet våpen i selvforsvar.

Human rights organisations said at least five protesters in Banias had been killed since Sunday including one on Tuesday. In Bayda witnesses reported that security thugs had beaten up men in the central square, and rights groups said hundreds of people had been arrested, including students who took part in an unprecedented rally at Damascus University on Monday.

Violence in the port cities of Banias and Latakia has become increasingly messy as locals report the involvement of pro-government thugs and private militias. One witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said «shabiha» (pro-government thugs) had attacked in cars decorated with photos of the president, Bashar al-Assad, on Sunday. Residents of Banias said there was a shortage of bread, and electricity and communications were intermittent.

Situasjonen er ikke i ferd med å roe seg, tvert imot. Bashar al-Assad virker som en svak leder som ikke vet hva han skal gjøre når situasjonen blir alvorlig. Nå er den alvorlig.

Syrian soldiers shot for refusing to fire on protesters
Witnesses claim soldiers who disobeyed orders in Banias were shot by security services as crackdown on protests intensifies

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