Syrian Forces Kill 2 in Homs Raid

Posted September 20th, 2011 at 10:41 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian security forces have raided a neighborhood in the central Homs region, killing at least two people.

Rights activists say the deadly violence took place on Tuesday after forces moved into the neighborhood to crack down on anti-government protests. Activists say Syrian forces killed five people in a raid in Homs province on Monday.

Meanwhile, Syria's state-run news agency says there has been “wide participation” in a new round of “national dialogue” sessions, designed to bring about government reforms.

The SANA news agency said Tuesday that political, civic and religious representatives are among those who have met to discuss building a “modern Syria.” Opposition groups say they are not part of the discussions.

Meanwhile, France and the United States are pushing for the U.N. Security Council to address Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's deadly crackdown on dissent.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Monday the silence of the Security Council is “unconscionable” and that crimes against humanity are being committed in Syria.

U.S. officials say Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that the council should speak out, calling the violence in Syria inexcusable.

The U.N. human rights office says at least 2,700 people have been killed during Syria's crackdown, including 100 children.