Woman shot dead in Syria, activists say

A woman was shot dead in eastern Syria on Sunday and a teenager died of wounds suffered at a funeral in the capital Damascus on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"A 40-year-old woman was killed at noon on Sunday by a stray bullet as security forces were tracking wanted people in the town of Abu Kamal," the Britain-based rights group cited an activist in Deir Az-Zour province as saying.

The Observatory also told AFP in Nicosia that a youth had died of wounds received on Saturday when security forces opened fire on mourners at the funeral of an activist in Darayya, near Damascus.

"A 17-year-old succumbed to his wounds on Sunday after security forces the day before fired on a crowd at the funeral of Ghiyath Matar," it said.

Matar, 26, had been a key player in organizing protests against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and died in detention after being tortured, according to the international watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW).

His body, which was returned to his family on Saturday after his arrest on September 6, bore bruises on the chest and signs of injuries to the face, activists cited by HRW said.

Matar disappeared on the same day as one of his friends, Yahya Sharbaji. The two were detained in a car after a chase by security forces in the Sehnaya district of the capital, according to a relative.

The latest deaths come after security forces killed at least 12 people on Saturday in their ongoing bid to crush anti-regime dissent, activists said, and as the Arab League announced an agreement with Assad on long-promised reforms.

The United Nations says more than 2,200 people -- mostly civilians -- have been killed in a crackdown on almost daily protests by pro-democracy and anti-regime demonstrators in Syria since mid-March.

Rights groups say more than 10,000 people are behind bars.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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