Syrian forces kill 5 villagers in raids near Hama

AMMAN - Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad raided the countryside near the city of Hama on Tuesday, killing at least five people in assaults to subdue pro-democracy protests, local activists said, as a UN humanitarian team toured the country.
Houses were stormed in several villages and towns in the al-Ghab Plain, farmland east of the Mediterranean coast that contains the Roman city of Apamea, they said"Shabbiha (pro-Asssad militiamen) accompanied the military. We have one name of the five martyrs, Omar Mohammed Saeed al-Khateeb," said an activist in Hama, under military siege since it was stormed at the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan on Aug 1.
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