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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