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Letters: Filene's Basement; 'The Other F Word'


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Guy Raz.

In Syria today, activists and human rights groups say at least 15 people were killed as security forces opened fire on protesters.

NPR's Kelly McEvers reports that the violence comes despite the fact that the Syrian government had pledged earlier this week to end the crisis.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: The story might sound the same as every Friday in Syria these past seven or so months. Thousands of people in cities and towns around the country went out to protest after Friday prayers, many were met with gunfire. But this Friday, it's different.

This time, the Syrian regime made a big production about how it had agreed to an Arab League plan to end the conflict. At a meeting this week with Arab envoys in Cairo, Syrian officials said they would remove tanks and armored vehicles from the cities, release political prisoners, and allow monitors and journalists to finally enter the country. But instead, this is what Friday sounded like again.


MCEVERS: A demonstration, a shot and wounded protester falls to the ground. Much of the violence was in the city of Homs, where this video was taken and where tanks fired on residential areas. In the coastal city of Latakia, a resident who goes by the name of Mohammed Sayyid(ph) told me by Skype, at least 10 protesters outside of mosques were met with gunfire.

MOHAMMED SAYYID: I hearing shooting outside of my house, near my house.

MCEVERS: The scenario was similar in the central city of Hama.



MCEVERS: Activists say this video shows snipers on top of a hospital today firing at protesters below.

An activist who goes by the name Manjal Abu-Bakr(ph) says the snipers don't always shoot to kill him. They often just shoot to injure.

MANJAL ABU-BAKR, ACTIVIST: The number of the killing each Friday, you know, is around 30, 20, 22, 25. When they kill, you know, 1000 or 500 a day, you know, or a Friday, there would be really unrest from the international world.

MCEVERS: But when they kill just a few each week, the world, Abu-Bakr says silent.

Kelly McEvers, NPR News, Beirut. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.