At least 26 dead in Syria as Annan sees signs of improvement
Syrian government forces continued Friday in their bloody suppression of the revolt against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, killing at least 26 people, although the office of the international envoy Kofi Annan said that his peace plan was "on track."
The deaths were reported in Aleppo, Hama and Homs, Idleb, Deir Ezzor (east) and the Damascus area, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), ignoring the presence of UN observers to oversee the implementation of a cease-fire largely violated since the April 12.
Like every Friday since March 2011, thousands of protesters marched against the regime, under the slogan: "Our loyalty (the revolution) is our salvation".
"Syria wants freedom "," Syria is bleeding "," Bashar, go away! ", proclaimed the placards brandished by the demonstrators in Arbine, near Damascus, while videos posted on youtube showed crowds in Homs, Qamishli, Idleb, Deraa and Aleppo.
On Thursday, security forces attacked the university of Aleppo, killing four students and arresting 200 others, after a demonstration against the regime, pushing the University to suspend its ongoing studies until May 13.
According to opposition activists, the attack was the deadliest against the campus in Aleppo, the second city in the country which for long remained away from the rebellion.
Despite all the violence, the spokesman for Mr. Annan said in Geneva his plan was "on track". "There are small signs on the ground. Some heavy weapons were withdrawn, some remained (...), some violence declined, some continued".
"A crisis that began more one year ago can not be resolved in a day or a week, "he said, noting that Mr. Annan would inform the UN Security Council of the implementation of his plan on May 8, by video- conference from Geneva.