Syria Troops Kill One Person in Hama, Carry Out Arrests

Activist reports that landlines have been cut in Hama and there are tanks on the streets.


Syrian security forces on Wednesday killed one person and wounded 20 in the city of Hama in the ongoing crackdown on anti-government protesters countrywide, an activist based in Lebanon said.

"At least one person was killed in the early hours of the morning and 20 others were wounded," Omar Idlibi told the German Press Agency dpa.

Syrian tank driving down a street in Deir el-Zour, Sunday Aug. 7, 2011.Credit: AP

"All landlines are now cut in Hama, the tanks are in every street," he said.

"The regime's thugs have been since the early hours of the morning making house-to-house searches looking for activists," Idlibi said.

He added that around 10 people were arrested and were seen blindfolded and being pushed into the buses of the security forces.

"Tanks and tens of small and big buses parked at Al-Hadid bridge at the eastern entrance of Hama. Around 200 soldiers went on foot into al-Qusour and Hamdiya neighborhoods. The sound of gunfire is being heard across the city," Idlibi said.

An activist based in Damascus told dpa the arrested in Hama included "two women and two boys."

"The regime thugs are entering the houses like gangsters to terrify people, they first fire rounds of fire, then they break into the houses and start beating who ever comes across them," the activist who requested not to mention his name of fear of reprisals.

The Local Coordination Committees activist network said security forces on Wednesday set on fire the homes of two activists in Houla, in the Homs province. They also threatened their families with arrest if the activists do not turn themselves in, it added.

Human rights groups said more than 2,000 civilians have been killed in the crackdown on the protest movement that erupted in mid-March.

Meanwhile, the London-based Amnesty International in a report published in Lebanese newspapers Wednesday said at least 88 people are believed to have died in detention in Syria during five months of a brutal crackdown on protesters.

"The deaths behind bars are reaching massive proportions and appear to be an extension of the same brutal disdain for life that we are seeing daily on the streets of Syria," said Amnesty researcher Neil Sammonds.

"The accounts of torture we have received are horrific. We believe the Syrian government to be systematically persecuting its own people on a massive scale."

President Bashar Assad has repeatedly said he is using legitimate force to defeat what he describes as "terrorist gangs" trying to divide Syria.



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