Syrians Cheer Assad, Boo America at Mass Funeral

Public funeral held for 44 victims of yesterday's suicide bombings
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2011 3:27 PM CST
Syrians Cheer Assad, Boo America at Mass Funeral
A Syrian Muslim cleric stands next to mourners praying over coffins during the mass funeral of 44 people killed in twin suicide bombings.   (Getty Images)

The big news out of Syria today: a public funeral, held for the 44 people who died in two suicide bombings yesterday. It appeared to be a pro-President Bashar al-Assad, anti-American crowd, reports the Telegraph. Among the cries during the funeral procession in Damascus, which was attended by thousands and broadcast live on state TV: "Death to America"; "We sacrifice our souls and blood for you Bashar"; and "God, Syria, and Bashar only."

The coffins were draped in Syrian flags; the Wall Street Journal reports that each bore the name of the dead, save for six people whose injuries were so severe they couldn't be identified. The Journal also gives context to the bombings, the first suicide bombings to factor into Syria's uprising. Though the government yesterday attributed the attacks to al-Qaeda, the opposition pointed a finger at the government, which it believes may have been behind them in an effort to make it seem like the country would fall to pieces without Assad. (Read more Syria stories.)

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