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    Gun Battles Continue in Central Syria


    by NTDTelevision

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    Video posted to social media websites purportedly shows Syrian security forces and protesters in Hama, a city in central Syria north of Damascus. The city continues to defy a government crackdown.

    Video posted to social media websites dated Tuesday purportedly showed protesters in the Syrian city of Hama following security forces down a street as the sound of gunfire is heard.

    Other video posted to social media websites shows soldiers in the streets of Hama.

    Activists said Syrian forces rounded up dozens of people around Hama on Wednesday, a day after shooting dead 22 people.

    One resident said security forces were concentrated around the headquarters of the ruling Baath Party, the police headquarters and a state security compound.

    Most arrests took place on the outskirts of the city.

    Ammar al-Qurabi, Cairo-based head of the Syrian National Human Rights Organization, said hundreds of people had been arrested.

    Rami Adbelrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 23 people had died in Hama in the last 24 hours, and that an opposition figure in the city had reported water and electricity supplies were cut to the city on Wednesday morning.

    State news agency SANA said one policeman had been killed in a clash with armed groups who opened fire on security forces and threw petrol and nail bombs at them.

    It made no mention of civilian deaths but said some "armed men" were injured.

    Syria has prevented most independent media from operating inside the country, making it difficult to verify accounts from activists and authorities.

    In a report released on Wednesday, Amnesty International said the crackdown two months ago against the town of Tel Kelakh near the border with Lebanon may have constituted a crime against humanity.