The Syrian Army renewed tank fire in the old quarter of the southern city of Deraa on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

The city, which has been the heart of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad has been under siege for the past week.

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On Saturday, Syrian forces, backed by tanks, shelled parts of Deraa and stormed its main mosque.

Residents said earlier they could hear heavy gunfire in the old city where the Omari Mosque, a focal point for protests, is located.

At least 40 people were killed in Deraa on Friday, activists said, and another six on Saturday.

Roughly 70 people were reported killed nationwide over the weekend. Syrian human rights groups say more than 500 people have been killed in six weeks of violence.

In response to the violence, newly appointed Syrian Prime Minister Adel Safar said his government would draw up a “complete plan” of political, judicial and economic reforms, the state news agency SANA said on Saturday. SANA quoted Safar as saying he would set up committees to propose new laws and amendments to legislation in those areas.

Oren Kessler contributed to this report

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