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Hama residents defy siege, shelling to pray in the open

Published:

Residents of the central Syrian city of Hama defied military siege and heavy crackdown to perform their Ramadan night prayers in the streets.

The Syrian army pounded the flashpoint city on Monday night to prevent worshipers from gathering to protest after the prayers.

“I have never seen such kind of assault on residential areas. I could hear artillery pounding residential areas,” Abu Bishr, a Hama resident, told Al Arabiya TV in a telephone interview. “At least 11 people have been killed today and Hama residents are burying their dead in yards because they are afraid to go to public cemeteries.”

Activists said security forces also stormed Hama’s central prison to break up a mutiny and opened fire on prisoners.