Clashes in Syria as thousands mourn Kurdish leader

By ZEINA KARAM | October 8, 2011 | 5:20 AM EDT

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, center, stands next to Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Dawoud Rajha, right, and Chief of Staff Gen. Fahed al-Jasem el-Freij, left, during a ceremony to mark the 38th anniversary of the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war, in Damascus, Syria, on Thursday Oct. 6, 2011. Syrian troops stormed villages close to the border with Turkey on Thursday, hunting armed military defectors who fought back in clashes that left at least four soldiers and three others dead, activists said. (AP Photo/SANA) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say clashes between security forces and protesters have broken out in a city in northeastern Syria as thousands of people turn out for the funeral of a slain Kurdish opposition leader.

Mashaal Tammo was killed Friday by masked gunmen who burst into an apartment in the city of Qamishli.

Tammo was one of Syria's most prominent opposition figures and a respected and popular Kurdish opposition leader.

Kurdish activist and lawyer Mustafa Osso says tens of thousands of people have turned out in Qamishli's streets to take part in his funeral later Saturday.

The Local Coordination Committees activist network said the city has been shut down after a general strike was declared to mourn Tammo.