At least 11 people reported killed by Syrian forces in city that has become focal point for anti-government protests.Al Jazeera English, July 5, 2011
An image grab taken from YouTube apparently shows hundreds of thousands of Syrian anti-government protesters flooding the streets of the central city of Hama on July 1. (photo: AFP)
At least 16 people have been killed in the central Syrian city of Hama as government forces intensify their operations in the city, human rights activists have told Al Jazeera.
Sumer al-Said, a resident of Hama, told Al Jazeera by phone on Tuesday afternoon that security forces had shot people indiscriminately in the streets, and that water and electricity had been cut off.
“Two days ago, they arrested a lot of people in my area, and a lot of people were badly beaten,” he said.
Troops and tanks have surrounded the city in recent days in an apparent attempt to quell protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
With tanks and armoured vehicles moving closer to the edges of the city in the early hours of Tuesday, residents said hundreds of youths had blocked roads leading to residential neighbourhoods with garbage containers, wood and metal to try to prevent a possible advance.