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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Syrian Resistance: forces in Hama push as crackdown continue!


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bbc.co.uk / 2 August 2011 Last updated at 09:34 GMT.

Footage purportedly showing attacks in Hama has appeared online.

Syrian forces are pushing towards the centre of the town of Hama as they continue an offensive in which scores of people have died.

Residents told the BBC many people were fleeing to nearby villages, believing the army would gain full control.

On Monday, security forces cracked down on protests in towns around Syria, often after prayers on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The UN Security Council is set to resume discussions on the crisis.

Russia has until now resisted agreeing to a resolution condemning the violence, but has indicated that it could back a lesser statement.

Syrian Defence Minister Ali Habib was among five members of President Bashar al-Assad's government targeted by European Union asset freezes and travel bans, the EU said on Tuesday.

And Italy has recalled its ambassador to Syria for consultations, citing the "horrible repression" of citizens.

Rights groups say around 140 people have been killed by the authorities since Sunday, most of them in Hama.

The Syrian government has promised reforms but says citizens and its troops are being attacked by "armed gangs" backed by unspecified foreign powers.

International journalists have been denied access to Syria and it is not possible to verify accounts by witnesses and activists.

'Guns and knives'

Syrian troops took up new positions towards the centre of Hama on Tuesday, residents said.


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