More tanks deployed in Syria


Syria has deployed more tanks and troops to the southern city of Daraa in a widening crackdown on six-week-long anti-government demonstrations in which more than 450 people have died, according to rights activists.

An amateur video posted on Al-Jazeera purportedly shows a long convoy of tanks being transported along the highway from the capital, Damascus, to Daraa, the anti-government stronghold 80 miles to the south.

An activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said today that it has the name of at least 453 civilians killed during almost six weeks of pro-democracy protests.

U.N. Secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon has called for an investigation into the violence in Syria and a spokesman for the German government, Steffen Seibert, said today that Berlin strongly favors European Union sanctions against Damascus.

The Associated Press quotes witnesses in Daraa, the city of 300,000 near the border with Jordan, as reporting renewed explosions and gunfire today.

Witnesses and human rights activists also report tanks deployed around the Damascus suburb of Douma and the coastal city of Banias.

Security forces in the coastal city of Latakia are reported by an activist to have fired live bullets and used a stun grenade against demonstrators, The AP says. USA today



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