scores dead and wounded soldiers Bashar al-Assad to launch assault on the stronghold of the opposition before Ramadan
Syrian troops in stirred tanks stormed the city of Hama, killing and wounding dozens in a wave of bombings and shootings that the bodies strewn in the streets.Residents
shouted "God is great!" and threw firebombs and stones at the tanks that pushed through the city before dawn Sunday.
"It's a massacre, Hama who want to break before the month of Ramadan," said a witness who was identified by his first name, Ahmed, told The Associated Press by telephone.
Hospitals were overwhelmed by victims and were looking for blood donations, he said.
activists predicted that the protests will intensify during Ramadan, which begins on Monday, as protesters and government forces try to use the Muslim holy month to tip the balance of the uprising that started in March in their favor.
Ahmed, a resident of Hama, said he saw 12 dead in the streets in an area known as the Baath neighborhood. Most had been shot in the chest and head, he said.
"Hama troops came at dawn today," said another resident of the AP by telephone. "We woke to the news, because their guns were fired at random, and there are many victims. "
A doctor, who preferred anonymity, told Reuters that the city of Badr al-Horani and hospitals have received 24 bodies Hikmeh.
"There are bodies piled in the streets," said another resident, adding that army snipers were positioned on the roofs of the public electricity company and the prison main.
tank shells were falling at a rate of four per minute and north of Hama, according to residents, and supplies of electricity and water had cut the main districts - a tactic regularly used by the army when the city by storm.
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