France slams Kurd's murder, Syria crackdown
France on Friday condemned the Syrian regime's "brutal violence" in its crackdown on the opposition and said it was "shocked by the murder of prominent Kurdish opposition figure Mechaal Tamo.
"France condemns the brutal violence again used by the Syrian security forces today, which has left about 20 people dead and many more wounded," the foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.
"We are shocked by the assassination of opposition figure Mechaal Tamo ... and by the attack on opposition figure Riad Seif," the statement added.
Seif, a former lawmaker, had to be given hospital treatment after being beaten outside a mosque in the capital's commercial neighbourhood of Medan.
"France expresses its sympathy to the families of the victims and its solidarity with the Syrian people in its peaceful and courageous fight for a free and democratic Syria," said the statement.
It said the violence "shows that the regime of (President) Bashar al-Assad remains deaf to the appeals of the international community".
Tamo, 53, was killed by four masked gunmen who also wounded his son Marcel and a female fellow activist in the Kurdish Future Party, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The opposition Local Coordination Committees group said Tamo "was killed on Friday at his home by unidentified men. His son as well as activist Zahida Rashkilo were wounded."
Thousands of Kurds took to the streets in Qamishli after Tamo's death was made known, and gathered outside the hospital where his body was taken.
The official SANA news agency reported "the assassination" of the Kurdish activist, but gave a different account of his death. It said he was killed "by gunmen in a black car who fired at his car".
Tamo was a member of the newly formed Syrian National Council (SNC) opposition grouping. He had been released recently after spending three and a half years in prison.
He founded the liberal Kurdish Future Party, which considers the Kurds to be an integral part of Syria.
© 2011 AFP