Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Hundreds held in fresh Syria raids

Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a funeral for soldiers and security force members (AP/SANA)
A Syrian protester holds up her hand, painted with the colors of the national flag (AP)

Syrian security forces have been carrying out house-to-house raids across the country, detaining hundreds of people as part of a widening crackdown on anti-government protests, a rights activist has said.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the arrests were targeting the demonstrations' organisers and participants.

He said the latest action was focused on the central city of Homs, the coastal city of Banias, some suburbs of the capital Damascus and villages around the southern flashpoint city of Daraa.

The continued crackdown suggests that President Bashar Assad's regime is determined to crush the uprising by force and intimidation, despite rapidly escalating international outrage and a death toll that has topped 630 civilians since the unrest began in mid-March, according to rights groups.

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