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Reports: Syrian Security Forces Surround Central Town

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Syrian activists said security forces pursuing antigovernment protesters stormed several towns and villages across the country on August 29.

The largest operation appeared to be in Sarameen in the north, where five people were killed and more than 60 wounded according to the London-based Observatory for Human Rights, which was cited by the AP news agency.

One more person reportedly died during raids in Qara, a suburb of the capital, Damascus.

Meanwhile, reports said tanks and armored vehicles surrounded the central town of Rastan, which has been the site of intense protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

More than 2,200 people are reported to have been killed in Syria in a crackdown on antiregime protests that began in March.

U.S. and European leaders have demanded that Assad step down. And in one of the bluntest warnings yet, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, once a close Syrian ally, warned Assad his regime could face a fate similar to those of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.

compiled from agency reports