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Tanks, artillery fire on Deraa

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Tanks, artillery fire on Deraa

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Syrian elite troops today surrounded the old town centre of the southern city of Deraa and pounded Karak hilltop with artillery after it moved in 15 tanks.

Troops then stormed the main Omari mosque, the focal point of pro-democracy demonstrations, in another day of unrest that claimed a minimum of six lives.

At least 36 people died in Deraa yesterday, which is now starting to feel the effects of six days of fighting, with food, water and medicine supplies now reaching critical levels.

Eyewitnesses say snipers fired at people from rooftops as funerals for yesterday’s dead were attacked and the soldiers dispersed crowds of protesters. Human rights groups also say arrests of their members are continuing.