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Syrian forces kill 17 in Deir Ezzor: activist

17 civilians are killed in Deir Ezzor, witness to deadly army assaults since Sunday

AFP , Tuesday 9 Aug 2011
Protesters march on the street in Deir el-Zour on Sunday, (AP, image cannot be independently verified).
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Security forces killed 17 civilians on Tuesday in Syria's eastern protest hub of Deir Ezzor and at least four others in other parts of the country, activists said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 17 deaths in Deir Ezzor, scene of a deadly army assault on Sunday that killed 42 people, and said two other people were killed in the northwestern Idlib province. "At least 15 people were killed in different parts of Deir Ezzor which has been raided by tanks and vehicles mounted with machine guns," the group said in a statement, quoting activists at the scene. "A woman and a young man shot (earlier in the day) died of their wounds," the Britain-based Observatory said.

Earlier a human rights lawyer spoke of two deaths in the central flashpoint city of Hama, adding that some 50 tanks were deployed in the Hilfaya and Tibet al-Imam districts.
The Observatory reported that "a dozen tanks and other armoured vehicles attacked the Binnish and Sarmin areas" of Idlib earlier, causing the two deaths and leaving several people wounded.

The latest violence comes as pressure grows on Syria with a visit from Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, bearing the message that Ankara "has run out of patience" with the deadly crackdown on anti-regime protests. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked Davutoglu to press Syria to "return its military to the barracks," while Damascus has said the minister would himself "receive a firm message" during his visit.

On their Facebook page, Syrian Revolution 2011, an engine of the uprising, activists invited Davutoglu to "come and pray in the mosque" of the capital's Al-Midan area "to find out from close up of the demands of the Syrian people."

The visit comes after rights activists said security forces shot dead at least eight people in Deir Ezzor on Monday.

The regime's repression of Syria's pro-democracy uprising since mid-March has killed more than 2,050 people, including almost 400 members of the security forces, according to the Syrian Observatory.

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