Friday, August 5, 2011

Living in fear, Hama residents forced to bury bodies in parks

By Khalid Ali
The Independent

Friday, 5 August 2011

"Witnesses have described appalling conditions in the besieged Syrian city of Hama, with relatives being forced to bury bodies in town parks and newborn babies dying in their cots due to power cuts. In accounts given to The Independent yesterday, residents from Hama described the state of fear which has gripped the city since government forces began a deadly onslaught on Sunday.

Their stories come a day after the UN Security Council issued a statement condemning events in Syria – a move human rights groups dismissed as a "completely inadequate" response to President Bashar al-Assad's bloody crackdown on protests that erupted in March. Rights activists say at least 100 people have been killed in the attack on Hama, during which neighbourhoods have been subjected to heavy shelling, tanks have stormed the city centre, and plain-clothed gunmen have reportedly shot civilians at random. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said 1,000 families have fled their homes in the city.....

Hama, which for decades was a hotbed of anti-government dissent, was largely outside government control until Sunday's offensive. Back in 1982 it was the scene of a notorious massacre when the current President's father killed anywhere between 10,000 and 25,000 civilians in a bid to crush a Muslim Brotherhood uprising."

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