Syrian regime tanks take over square in Hama

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The Independent Online

Tanks took over the main square in the city of Hama and electricity and telephone phone lines were cut yesterday as President Bashar al-Assad's regime showed no sign of halting the military assault against an uprising now in its fifth month.

Activists said at least three tanks took up position in Assi square, which had been thronged by hundreds of thousands of anti-regime protesters in the weeks before the latest crackdown.

For the past four days, Syrian troops have tightened their siege on Hama, sending residents fleeing for their lives. The death toll since Sunday has reached around 100 people, but the exact figure is difficult to verify. Activists reported a new military push early yesterday, with fresh explosions and machine-gun fire heard in many parts of the city.