Government forces backed up by snipers have tightened their grip on Syria's third largest city of Homs. Rights groups claim hundreds have been fleeing as President Bashar al-Assad has sent tanks and troops into residential areas. Security forces have dispersed pro-democracy demonstrations across the country - in particular in the strategic southern region. In the capital Damascus, heavy gunfire was heard in the western suburb of Muadhamiya where unconfirmed reports say three people were killed during protests. The unremitting crackdown and rising death toll has stirred the EU into imposing an arms ban while UN officials have expressed concern over the city of Deraa which has been cut for for two weeks.
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