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Syria cities under siege

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 - 01:38

April 9 - A day before a planned ceasefire, activists and rebels claim Syria's government is racheting up attacks, causing hundreds of deaths. Jessica Gray reports.

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Rubble lines the streets of Taftanaz, south west of Aleppo, in Syria. Activists say Syrian government forces stormed the city with tanks and armoured vehicles on Sunday, killing at least 120 people and injuring hundreds more. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED RESIDENT SAYING: "Our only fault was that we called for freedom. We paid a heavy price for this word, but we are determined to continue on this path. This town has been devastated, between 400 and 500 sites and homes in this town have been burnt and totally destroyed, 60 to 70 houses. We have not seen such a criminal act anywhere in the world." Villagers nearby gather supplies at a mosque, but can do little to help families whose homes have been destroyed. Reuters cannot not verify witness accounts due to tight restrictions on independent media. However, Turkish officials report more than 2,800 refugees have fled the Idlib region since Thursday - more than double the highest previous one-day total. Amateur video uploaded on Monday also shows signs of battles in Homs, the bloody epicentre of the revolt against president Bashar al-Assad. This amateur video uploaded to a social media website purportedly shows parts of the city ablaze and the sounds of gunfire echoing wildly. The attacks have dashed hopes for a ceasefire brokered by the U.N. and Arab League due to begin on Tuesday. Jessica Gray, Reuters

Syria cities under siege

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 - 01:38

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