Syrian security forces raid Homs, one killed, twenty injured

Monday, July 11, 2011

Syrian forces have raided the city of Homs, and has killed at least one civilian and injured twenty from machine gunfire and armor activity in heavily populated areas. This raid is reportedly the heaviest since troops were deployed to the city two months ago in an effort to crush dissent against the country's President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has ruled the country for 41 years, from ongoing protests.

In Hama, which is 50 km north of Homs, Security forces made arrests, and gunshots were reported by activists in the area. No causalities were reported.

Demonstrations against the president have spread since ordered tanks into towns and cities where large numbers of protesters appeared. The campaign has been violent, and has claimed the lives of at least 1,400 people since the uprisings began in March, according to human rights groups.

The raids on activists comes at a time after the vice-president of the country, Farouq al-Shara opened "national dialogue" in a attempt to allow discussion on reforms, such as allowing other parties then the ruling Baath Party. Mostly Assad supporters attended, and opposition groups have boycotted the conference, citing that actions of the security arm of the government and Assad's loyalists continues to operate with impunity.

Wikinews and other independent media outlets have been unable to confirm the reports, as Syria has banned international journalists from entering the country.