Friday, July 22, 2011

The repression of the Syrian army increases in Homs

Beirut The Syrian Army has increased the repression of demonstrations for democratic reforms in the city of Homs in central-western Syria, said on Thursday activists and residents. Ahmed, township resident, said "there are dead and many people have been arrested." "We are very scared," he added. Another resident said the area hospital is asking people to donate blood to treat the wounded coming from Bab Sbaa, a suburb of the town.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement that "there is a major military deployment in Homs." "The checkpoints are all over the city. There are shootings in Bab Sbaa, a house has been burned and humanitarian conditions are declining," he added. An activist in Homs said the army had assaulted several houses in the city.

One resident told Reuters that the army fired on worshipers leaving the mosque of Khaled Ibn al Walid in the early hours of the morning. Homs has become a center of protests against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, and in support of democratic reforms. Since the weekend, 33 people have died in the city, activists and residents.

Human rights groups claim that 1,400 people have died across the country since the start of the protests in mid-March. Meanwhile, state news agency, SANA, reported Thursday the death of "three martyrs" in the army and security forces at the hands of "armed terrorist groups" in the city of Homs.

The three "martyrs", a captain and two sergeants have been moved "solemn procession" from the Homs Military Hospital to the cemetery. His relatives have shown "proud" of the "heroism" of their children and have been to "make more sacrifices willing to Syria" for the country "remains a beacon of civilization," he said.

Assad has responded to the protests with promises of change, but also with violent repression. He has sent the Army to many locations for an end to the demonstrations and detain thousands of people. But the president also has promised to grant citizenship to thousands of Kurds, lift the state of emergency, release hundreds of prisoners and begin a national dialogue with the opposition.

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