Nine Dead in Syria on the First Friday of Ramadan

Syrian security of forces continue the bloodshed as tanks shell Hama

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Reuters reports more deaths in Syria as tens of thousands took to the streets to protest Assad's rule on the first holy day of the month-long Ramadan holiday:

Local Coordination Committees, an activists' organization, said seven of the protesters were killed in the capital's suburb of Erbin, one protester was killed in Mouadhamiya, another Damascus suburb, and one in Homs, 165 km (100 miles) north of Damascus, where tanks and armored vehicles deployed two months ago to crush dissent against Assad. … Hama residents feared higher casualty figures than the 135 estimated killed since the military assault began on Sunday on the city of 700,000 people in central Syria.

Images are emerging from Hama, some depicting the besieged city as a ghost town and others as a war zone.

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