Nova Scotia

Syria protests reach Halifax

Both sides in the Syria conflict were on display in Halifax Saturday.

Groups supporting both sides of conflict rally

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, security officers investigate a damaged building of the air intelligence forces in Damascus. SANA/Associated Press

Both sides in the Syria conflict were on display in Halifax, N.S., Saturday.

Supporters of the government drove in a 15-car procession waving flags and posters of leader Bashar al-Asaad while opponents held a fundraiser.

The pro-government demonstrators said the media is not accurately reporting the support for the Syrian government.

Roy Khoury, a member of the Syrian Canadian Association, said he does not want to see Assad's government overthrown.

"We support this guy, the president. He is the man you trust," he said.

44 family members killed

In a separate section of the city, a group against the regime held a fundraiser.

Mohamed Masalmeh, a member of Justice and Freedom for Syria, said the money will be used to help those in Syria who need medical attention or who have lost the family's main earner.

"The only dialogue the regime is having with its people is with the gun, and the tank shelling and helicopters," he said.

Masalmeh supports the rebellion against the government. He said 44 members of his Syrian family have died in the last year.

Anti-regime protesters also gathered in Toronto Saturday.

Meanwhile in Syria, the violence continues. Two car bombs detonated in Damascus killed at least 27 people Saturday.

The United Nations says more than 8,000 people have been killed and some 230,000 forced to flee their homes since the uprising to oust Assad began last March.

On Friday, UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan told the United Nations Security Council he was determined to continue his mission and would soon return to Damascus.

Talks last weekend between Annan and Assad in Damascus saw no progress in attempts to cobble together peace talks between the two sides.