Friday, June 17, 2011

Syria unrest: fresh protests erupt

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in towns and cities across Syria in a fresh round of protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

There are unconfirmed reports of security forces opening fire, and of a number of deaths and injuries.

Protests were reported in the cities of Homs and Baniyas, and in suburbs of the capital, Damascus.

The Syrian army has moved into two northern towns as it seeks to end months of anti-government protests.

Tanks, armoured personnel carriers and buses were used to secure Maarat al-Numan and Khan Sheikhoun, both on the road linking Damascus and Aleppo.

The EU is pressing for a new round of sanctions against Syria.

The UN says that at least 1,100 people have died as the government has cracked down on demonstrations that began in March.

Syrian rights groups put the overall death toll in Syria at 1,297 civilians and 340 security force members. (read more)