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Syria's Protestors Put Pressure On Government, Shops Shut Down During Strike
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Syria\'s Protestors Put Pressure on Government, Shops Shut Down During Strike

On Saturday, Syrian President Bashar al Assad issued a 72 hour deadline to the anti-government protestors, many focused in the city of Homs: either stop the protests, turn in all weapons and surrender the military who have defected by Monday night or face a full bombardment, Lt. Coloner Mohamed Hamdo of the Free Syria Army warns that if something does not give, there might be a repeat of the 1982 massacre in the city of Hama. Thousands of people died in government led attacks, ordered by then president Hafez al Assad, father to Syria's current leader.

Hamdo has stated that the Syrian army has dug trenches around the city and has cut off all communications there. The city is also without electricity and water and food supplies are running low. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied these claims, saying that nothing has been shut off to the city of Homs or any other area of the country.

The London based group, Syria Observatory for Human Rights has reported that most of the shops in Homs and neighboring cities were closed on Sunday as part of the anti-government strike. The government denied that as well, saying that shops were open for business as usual, selling all of their goods and keeping the economy flowing. Syria has long banned any journalists so confirming any claims are all but impossible, but several You Tube videos have surfaced, showing those described as government loyalists breaking into various closed shops, possibly acting on orders of the government.

Ongoing violence in Syria is causing many in the international community to worry that the nation is heading for civil war. More than twenty people have died over the weekend, including five children. One man was arrested in the city of Jasem, but no reason was given for the arrest. That man was returned to his family roughly three hours later, dead. Other cities are also reporting increased violence across the nation as protests gain strength and larger numbers.

Meanwhile, France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has announced that the French believe Syria to be behind the attacks on troops that are working in Lebanon. A roadside bomb exploded earlier in the week and wounded five French peacekeepers. Syria is also believed to have been behind attacks in both May and July of this year against French and Italians working in the peace keeping missions. France has called on Lebanon's government to ensure the safety of those peace keepers.


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