BEIRUT - Residents in the Syrian city of Hama blocked streets with burning tires on Thursday to keep out busloads of security forces, and dozens of families fled to a nearby town, an activist and a resident said.
The city, scene of a 1982 massacre which came to symbolize the ruthless rule of the late President Hafez al-Assad, has seen some of the biggest protests in 14 weeks of demonstrations against his son Bashar.
A Hama resident said up to 14 buses had entered the northern quarters of the city and reported that security forces were firing in residential areas.
The reports could not be immediately confirmed. Syria has barred most independent media from the country, making it difficult to verify accounts from activists or authorities.