ARTS & LEISURE

Five more killed in besieged Syrian city of Latakia

LATAKIA – Five people were killed Tuesday as more violence erupted in the embattled Syrian city of Latakia, a resident said, quoted by CNN.

The witness, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, said the sounds of gunfire and shelling were heard “all night and morning.” Snipers were perched atop various locations in the city’s al-Ramel neighborhood – where thousands of Palestinians have reportedly fled a U.N. refugee camp in recent days. The witness said a large portion of the Ramel area has been evacuated.

“This is the fourth day that we do not have electricity or water. Landline phone connections have been down most of the day,” he said by satellite phone.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government vehemently denied reports that more than 5,000 Palestinians fled the refugee camp in the area after it came under fire from Syrian security forces.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency also reported Tuesday that reports of shelling by the navy on Ramel are “completely untrue.”

But reports of bloodshed in the country, where protesters are demanding free elections and an end to President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, continue to escalate by multiple accounts.

“The tragedy of (Ramel) has not stopped since yesterday,” the Local Coordination Com­mittees of Syria, a network of opposition activists, said in a statement Tuesday.  The group said at least 2,545 people have died in the months-long unrest. The vast majority were civilians, and 391 were security personnel, the LCC said.

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