Reports from the Syrian city of Hama indicate that military forces have killed over 100 people in the past 24 hours. Yesterday, the Syrian military rolled into Hama and took control of the city, a focal point for the five-month old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Cell phones, landlines, and internet service remain cut in Hama but activists used satellite phones to report on the growing casualties and food and medicine shortages. Two-hundred casualties have been reported since the military began shelling Hama during the weekend and activists report that the overall death toll since March exceeds 1,700. Yesterday, the U.N. Security Council condemned the violence against demonstrators in Syria.
Hundreds of residents are fleeing Hama and unburied bodies are visible on the streets as residents fear government snipers. News reports on casualties are spotty but the citizen journalism organization Avaaz report 109 deaths in Hama today. The assault on Hama overshadowed Assad’s move to allow the formation of opposition political parties. Syrian activists rejected the reforms as insufficient.