Syrian forces backed by tanks attacked two central towns Sunday in a bid curb protests there against President Bashar Assad's regime, killing at least two people and injuring several others, activists and a rights group said. According to the AP, security forces in several other parts of the country fired on crowds holding overnight demonstrations, causing casualties.
Sunday's military attacks targeted the towns of Rastan and Talbiseh in the central province of Homs. Authorities had sealed off and isolated the towns by closing roads and cutting phone service, the activists added.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two people were killed in Rastan and four were hurt in Talbiseh.
Meanwhile, Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV aired an amateur video from the southern town of Daraa showing five injured Syrian troops laying on the floor of what appeared to be a hospital. It quoted activists as saying the five soldiers were shot by some of their comrades after they refused to open fire at protesters.
Also Sunday, human rights activist Mustafa Osso said security forces opened fire in the early hours of Sunday at about 8,000 protesters in the northeastern town of Deir el-Zour, injuring several people. He said there were protests overnight in several parts of Syria, including the Damascus suburbs of Zabdani and Douma.