Syrian authorities detain hundreds in fresh raids

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The Independent Online

Syrian security forces arrested hundreds of activists and anti-government protesters in house-to-house raids across the country yesterday, part of an escalating government crackdown aimed at stamping out the nationwide revolt engulfing the country.

President Bashar al-Assad has dispatched troops and tanks to crush the seven-week uprising, which has posed the most serious challenge to his family's 40-year rule. The growing crackdown has left 630 people dead, according to human rights groups.

Yesterday's arrests were focused in four areas – the central city of Homs, the coastal city of Baniyas, some suburbs of the capital Damascus and villages around the southern city of Deraa.