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In Homs, at least 21 demonstrators were killed in the past two weeks as security forces try choke off resistance to Assad’s rule, said Nadim Houry of the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

On Saturday, mourners buried at least two of those slain in Homs, according to videos uploaded onto YouTube by anti-government activists.

The videos showed the bodies of men that activists identified as Homs residents Diaa al-Najjar and Bassem al-Saqlini. Al-Najjar’s face was surrounded with flowers, his body wrapped in the red-black-and-white Syrian flag.

“To heaven we are going, martyrs in our millions!” mourners chanted as many of them clapped as they marched.

There was no sign of any security forces as thousands of mourners packed the al-Nour mosque, where they chanted against the regime.

Idibi said he feared that security forces who were operating in Homs would now turn their attention to Hama.

Activist Idibi said 24 people killed on Friday around the country, including along the Turkish border as forces try to choke off an exodus of Syrian refugees.

Opposition groups say the regime has killed more than 1,400 people — mostly unarmed protesters — since mid-March, but the government disputes that toll.


Diaa Hadid can be reached on