BEIRUT (AP) — A resident of the Syrian city of Hama says gunmen in plainclothes are randomly shooting people in the streets.
And the resident says families are burying their loved ones in gardens at home, because they're afraid that if they venture out to cemeteries, they'll also be killed.
It's the fifth day of a military offensive against anti-government dissent in Hama. According to human rights groups, at least 100 people have been killed. Telephone and Internet service, as well as electricity, have been cut or severely hampered for days.
The resident says people are being forced to ration food and share bread to get by during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Activists have expressed concern about humanitarian conditions there, saying medical supplies and bread were in short supply even before the latest siege.
The siege in Hama is part of a government effort to put down an uprising against President Bashar Assad's authoritarian rule. The protests have been gaining momentum in defiance of the crackdown.
164-r-12-(Sound of chanting, from amateur video purporting to show anti-government demonstrators in the city of Hama)--This is sound of chanting from amateur video purporting to show anti-government demonstrators in the city of Hama. ((Note: The AP has no way of independently verifying the authenticity of this audio)) (4 Aug 2011)
136-c-14-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE), AP Middle East correspondent)-"aren't going through"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie reports Syrian security has cut off electric power and communications to the rebellious city of Hama. (4 Aug 2011)
APPHOTO LON897: In this image posted on the Internet by Shaam News Network, showing what they purport to be a military tank on the streets of the city of Hama, Syria, on the "third day of Ramadan", Wednesday Aug. 3, 2011. During the video smoke rises from the tank as gun fire is heard, as the military take up positions in the city square where anti-regime protests were held during recent weeks. For the past four days, Syrian troops have tightened their siege on Hama, sending residents fleeing for their lives, according to various reports from activists, with electricity and telephone lines cut off Wednesday as President Bashar Assad's regime shows no signs of halting the intense military assault against an uprising. (AP Photo / SHAMSNN) (3 Aug 2011)