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Syria: Reports of Mass Killings, and a Blogger and a Journalist Disappear

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

The crackdown on protesters in Daraa, Syria continues. At dawn a special army unit reportedly killed at least six people during an attack on Al Omari Mosque to disperse the protesters who have been using it as a gathering place and makeshift hospital.

Syrian national television reported that it was an armed gang that attacked ambulances and security forces and that they had guns, ammunition, grenades, and stacks of money hidden inside the mosque:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRg9tdaHgpQ

Syrians were quick to point out that the video is a bad fabrication at best. Al Omari Mosque was full of blankets and medical supplies and was dirty after the protests, as opposed to what was shown on Syrian television. Facebook users joked that the Syrian national TV segment was like a badly directed Syrian drama and that governmental claims hold no water.

Twitter users are also reporting that Khaled Elekhetyar, a Syrian journalist and blogger is unreachable, and his Facebook account has been hacked and used to post pro-Assad propaganda.

@ramiar tweeted:

@wissamtarif #Syria journalist Khaled Elekhetyar unreachable – meanwhile his fb account is hacked and spammed with pro-Asad propaganda..

Adnan Shami started a twitter account to report the following:

الصحفي خالد الإختيار غائب عن الإنترنت ولا يمكننا الاتصال به منذ أكثر من أربع وعشرين ساعة #syria

Journalist Khaled Elekhetyar missing from the internet and has been unreachable for over 24 hours.

A friend of Khaled who wishes to remain anonymous said:

Spoke to him last time around 10pm on 21 march..he was organizing the protest for 22 march in front of Palace of Justice..when we last spoke (10pm the day before the supposed to be protest) he looked scared and concerned for security of the people he knew…last FB msg he wrote was around 10am (you can check on his profile) on 22, protests were supposed to start at 12pm, then silence, his phone always shut down and now these strange messages on his FB profile which really seems to have been hacked or something…

Mohammad Al Abdallah is also reporting that a Syrian Blogger known as Ahmad Abu Al-Khair (@ahmadtalk on Twitter) who was briefly arrested recently has been arrested again:

Urgent: Security forces arrests blogger Ahmed Abu El-Kheir in #Damascus#Syria #mar15

And the harrowing reports from the events in Syria keep trickling through the enforced media and communication blackout. @1SecularSyrian tweeted:

Hero Soldier Khaled Al-Masri killed by his fellow soldiers for refusing to participate In storming Omari Mosque yesterday #Daraa #Syria

Blogger Yassin Sweha comments:

ﻣﺎ ﻳﺤﺪﺙ ﻓﻲ ﺩﺭﻋﺎ ﻻ ﻳﻤﻜﻦ ﻭﺻﻔﻪ ﺑﺎﻟﺠﻨﻮﻥ، ﻓﺎﻟﺠﻨﻮﻥ ﺍﺑﺪﺍﻉ، ﻭ ﻻ ﺍﺑﺪﺍﻉ ﻓﻲ ﻗﺘﻞ ﺍﻟﻨﺎﺱ ﺑﻞ ﺳﺎﺩﻳﺔ #Syria

What's happening in Daraa can't be described as madness; Madness is creativity, and there's no creativity in killing people but only sadism.

Reports of a brutal crackdown are non-stop. The next video was recorded yesterday and it shows plainclothes security agents arresting people randomly from the streets:

This story is ongoing and will be updated as details become available.

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

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