11 are killed in the suburbs of Hama and 7 died in Homs, an opposition group says
A pro-regime group refutes an Amnesty report alleging abuse in prison, state media says
At least 3,000 have been killed in months of unrest in Syria, observers estimate
Three children were among 25 people reported killed Thursday in Syria, an opposition group reported, in the apparent latest round of violence to rattle the turbulent Middle Eastern nation.
The Syrian government, meanwhile, continued to refute reports – including one alleging abuses and assaults in its prisons – according to the state-run SANA news agency. It also documented the funerals of what it called three “martyrs” killed by “armed terrorist groups (outside) Hama and Damascus.”
The Local Coordinating Committees, an opposition group that organizes protests, reported in a statement released Friday morning that 11 people were killed in the suburbs of Hama – including seven in Kernaz, two in Qalat Madeq and one apiece in Latamnah and Kafranbodah.
Another seven people died Thursday in Homs, which has been a hotbed of anti-government sentiment and subsequent government-led crackdowns, the group claimed.
This followed a powerful explosion that rocked the city’s Bayada neighborhood, with the coordination committees further claiming that security forces fired on that and another neighborhood with heavy machine guns.
In addition, three were killed in Idlib province, two in Daraa province and two more in Lattakia province, the group said.
CNN cannot independently confirm events in Syria, which restricts international journalists from accessing many parts of the country.
The Syrian Human Rights Network, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, denounced statements from human rights groups such as Amnesty International about what was happening on the ground.
According to SANA, the pro-regime group said that statements implicating the Syrian government were unfounded. It specifically referred to an Amnesty report accusing the Syrian government of torturing wounded protesters at state-run hospitals.
Amnesty’s report, according the Syrian Human Rights Network, is “contradictory with the reality and completely untrue.”
The latest violence occurred a day after opposition leaders called for a nationwide general strike, and Syria’s embattled president huddled in Damascus with other regional leaders at an Arab League Ministers meeting. The meeting “was honest and friendly,” and the group “felt that the Syrian government wants to work … to reach a solution,” Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani said, according to Syrian state television.
“President Assad did not accept all the initiatives submitted to him, but he did not reject our points and requests,” said Arab League Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed bin Heli. “Our main concern is to stop the bloodshed of the Syrian people.”
The delegation of Arab foreign ministers will resume talks with Syrian officials on October 30, he said.
At least 3,000 people have died so far, the United Nations and other international observers estimate.