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More dead in violent deadlock in Syria

More dead in violent deadlock in Syria
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A number of protesters have reportedly been killed in clashes with the army in Syria. It is claimed military personnel have also died.

The army has been sent in to several flashpoint cities across the country in the last few days to put an end to pro-democracy protests that began in March.

No foreign journalists are allowed into Syria. But human rights campaigners report that hundreds of people have been killed and thousands arrested in the unrest so far.

One activist in the southern Syrian city of Harra has said 13 people including a nurse and a child were killed in shelling and shooting on Wednesday.

Earlier, it was reported that tanks bombarded a residential area of Homs, while state-run media claimed two soldiers were killed in clashes in Homs and Deraa.

The Syrian government says it is pursuing armed gangs of terrorists.

Despite the crackdown, demonstrations have continued in several cities although the government has said it will set up a commission to look at the legal framework for a fresh general election.

Meanwhile, diplomats say Syria has dropped plans to apply for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council as a result of international pressure following the crackdown.