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Syrian gov't tanks storm Hama, kill 79 people

08-01-2011 08:32 BJT Special Report:Unrest in Syria |

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Violence sparked by anti-government protests continues in Syria. Activists say around 79 people were killed Sunday in several Syrian cities in clashes with security forces, as army troops in tanks swept into some cities at dawn.

US President Barack Obama says he is appalled by the Syrian government's use of violence against its people, and has promised to work with others to isolate Assad. Britain and France also condemned the Hama assault. Italy has urged a tough statement on Syria by the UN Security Council. European Union governments plan to extend sanctions against Assad's government on Monday.

The city of Hama has a storied history of rebellion against the Syrian leadership. It was a stronghold of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, which staged a bloody rebellion in 1982. It is now witnessing the largest turnout since the eruption of protests in mid-March.

The official SANA news agency says armed groups killed four law-enforcement forces members in the central province of Hama on Sunday.

Violence sparked by anti-government protests continues in Syria. Activists say around 79 people were killed Sunday in several Syrian cities in clashes with security forces, as army troops in tanks swept into some cities at dawn.

Armed groups with machine guns were roaming the streets in Hama and forcing a curfew on the residents. SANA says the armed men on motorcycles are setting government establishments ablaze and terrorizing people.

Raids were also reported in southern Syria and in the suburbs of the capital Damascus. It comes ahead of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Monday.

Earlier reports from the Damascus suburb of Harasta said at least 42 people were injured when Syrian forces threw nail bombs at a demonstration, where the army's ultra loyalist Fourth Division had been deployed to subdue pro-democracy protests.

A TV grab taken from Al Arabiya channel on 31 July, 2011 shows flames rising
next to a military vehicle, at an unspecified location in Syria.

Meanwhile, Syrian forces have arrested Sheikh Nawaf al-Bashir, head of the main Baqqara tribe in rebellious Deir al-Zor province and a prominent figure in the campaign against President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has been in unrest since mid March when anti-government protests broke out in the southern province of Daraa and spread to other cities.

The Syrian authorities blamed the unrest on "armed groups and foreign conspiracy" and stressed that it would track down gunmen who have intimidated people and damaged public and private properties.

 

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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