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Syrian Troops Storm Towns In Homs Province


Smoke rises from the Syrian city of Latakia on August 14.

Smoke rises from the Syrian city of Latakia on August 14.

Heavy gunfire was reported today as troops backed by tanks reportedly entered several towns in the province of Homs in central Syria.

Two rights groups said tanks entered the town of Hula and that soldiers were carrying out raids and arrests under cover of heavy gunfire.

Renewed heavy gunfire was reported today in the coastal city of Latakia, where the military on August 14 for the first time used warships to shell the city.

Activists say at least 27 people died in Latakia, which has been under intense gunfire since August 13.

Activists say at least 1,700 people have died in the six-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's authoritarian regime.

The military offensive against antigovernment protesters intensified this month, despite the international outrage and sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union.

The government says it is fighting armed gangs.

compiled from agency reports
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