Security Forces Spread Through NW Syria

Posted June 30th, 2011 at 10:30 am (UTC-5)
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Activists say Syrian security forces continue to spread through villages in the country's northwest, a day after allegedly killing at least seven civilians during the ongoing crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

Human rights activists said on Thursday that Syrian forces worked to consolidate their hold on several villages between the Turkish border and Syria's second largest city, Aleppo.

On Wednesday, rights groups said Syrian tanks shelled the village of Rameh in Idlib province, prompting many residents to flee as soldiers conducted searches for dissidents.

At least seven civilians died in the violence, but details could not be independently confirmed because Syria allows very few foreign news reporters into the country and restricts their movements.

More than 12,000 Syrians have fled into Turkey and hundreds more into Lebanon to escape the violence in their homeland.

Rights groups say more than 1,400 people have been killed in the violence, most of them unarmed protesters.