Syrian troops shell defiant city of Hama


Activists say Syrian troops are shelling the flashpoint city of Hama for a second day in a fierce assault aimed at crushing dissent as Muslims begin their month of fasting.

Hama-based activist Omar Hamawi says security forces in tanks opened fire on the city around 7:30 a.m. Monday after a night of sporadic shooting. Syria-based rights activist Mustafa Osso confirmed Hama was being shelled.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said there was also intense shooting in the eastern city of Deir el-Zour overnight.

On Sunday, Syrian security forces attacked Hama and other defiant cities and towns, killing at least 70 people.

More than 1,600 civilians have been killed in the crackdown since an uprising began against the government in mid-March.