Syria: deadly repression in Hama, scene of 1982 massacre

Syrian troops are reported to have shot dead at least six anti-government protesters in the city of Hama on July 5, the second day of street clashed in the city center, with residents erecting barricades and burning tires to prevent tanks from advancing. The tanks have been deployed in a ring around the city, with government forces attempting to close the circle on protesters in the downtown area. “Tens of people are being arrested in neighborhoods on the edges of Hama. The authorities seem to have opted for a military solution to subdue the city,” Rami Abdel-Rahman, president of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told Reuters Hama was the scene of the 1982 bloody repression of an Islamist-led uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafez Assad, in which an estimated 30,000 were killed and parts of the city razed. (BBC News, July 5; Reuters, July 3)

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  1. Syria: Hama repression escalates
    Ammar Qurabi, Cairo-based head of the Syrian National Human Rights Organization, said July 6 that the death toll in Hama over the past day had reached 22, as security forces tighten their ring on protesters in the city center. Hundreds have reportedly been detained. Rami Adbelrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that water and electricity supplies have been cut to the city.State news agency SANA said one police officer had been killed in a clash with armed bands that opened fire on security forces and threw petrol and nail bombs. It made no mention of civilian deaths, but said some “armed men” were injured. (Reuters, July 6)