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A show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from our Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris. Saturday at 10.15 am Paris time. We'll be back in September with a new series.

THE OBSERVERS

THE OBSERVERS

Latest update : 2012-08-29

Syrian rebels make their own weapons, Tunisian extremists attack cultural events, and more

This show is made up entirely of amateur images. We've seen time and time again how images captured by ordinary citizens then uploaded onto the Web can change history, or at least shift the balance of power. This week, we take a look back at some of those moments.

Story 1: SYRIA

The Syrian army, with its tanks, planes, and helicopters, is much better equipped than the rebels it’s fighting. The rebel army is finding it difficult to smuggle in enough arms from outside the country. However, it has a new tactic: the rebels have learned to make weapons themselves!

These may be rudimentary, but - according to one of our Observers - they get the job done. Abu Khaled al Homsi tells us how…

 

Story 2: TUNISIA

In the space of just ten days, three separate cultural events were interrupted by Islamist extremists in Tunisia – some, quite violently.

Our Observer was attacked just before the start of an evening dedicated to the arts in the northwestern city of Bizerte. A group of Salafists - who belong to a movement within Sunni Islam – were protesting the event. They were angry about the presence of a member of the Palestine Liberation Front, whom they accused of being part of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, based in Lebanon. Our Observer Imed Sfaxi tells how the evening was spoiled by these extremists.

Police say the incident in Bizerte, where our Observer was attacked, involved about 200 people linked to the Salafist movement. Five of the assailants were arrested.

 

Story 3: WORLD

Now, on to the best images sent in this week from around the world by our Observers.


We first head to the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The city has been virtually cut off from the rest of the country by rebels from an armed group called the M23. For now, the Congolese army has been able to keep the rebels away from Goma – but our Observer Charly Kasekara tells us the city’s economy is suffering terribly from this situation. Indeed, the rebels are imposing huge taxes on the trucks that bring food to the city, causing prices to soar. Basic food staples like green beans have doubled in price. Our Observer is afraid that Goma’s residents may soon go hungry.


Now on to Senegal… Like every year, the capital has been hit by severe floods. On August 14, heavy rains hit Dakar, killing seven people and causing widespread damage. Several of the city’s suburbs were completely submerged. In these photos, a resident of the neighbourhood of Ouest Foire is forced to swim down the street…


Lastly we head to New York City, where a church has taken to buying people’s guns, to try to curb crime in Queens. In August, the New Jerusalem Baptist church held a buy-back event where it paid up to 200 dollars for various firearms - no questions asked. The church then turned them over to the New York City police department. The police said the church gave them 509 firearms – including an AK-47!
 

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