Nearly 50 people have been killed since Monday in Syria as government violence against protesters continues.
At least 23 people were killed Tuesday, 19 of whom were civilians, according to the Local Coordinating Committees of Syria.
The pro-democracy group of activists, which organizes and documents anti-government demonstrations, said that 15 were killed in Hama. Others died in Homs, Deir Ezzor, Ghab, Saraqeb and the suburbs of Damascus.
Two Syrian soldiers were killed and five were wounded when their military bus was ambushed “by an armed terrorist group” east of Homs, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
Syrian forces killed at least 22 civilians on Monday, including a father and son in the town of Rastan, near Homs, and 15 villagers in raids around Hama, Reuters reported.
The figures are approximate, due to the fact that journalists are themselves sometimes hunted down by Syrian government forces and are therefore forced to maintain a distance. Many are barred altogether from entering various areas of the country, or entering the country itself.
Residents and local activists told the news agency Syrian troops had carried out one of the biggest military assaults since the uprising first broke out in March.
At least 2,000 soldiers backed by dozens of armored vehicles fired machine guns at random and stormed several villages and towns in the ah-Ghab Plain, an agricultural area northwest of Hama.
Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told reporters Tuesday that he had not managed to convince his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, and Premier Wen Jiabao, to support a tougher United Nations resolution condemning the crackdown.
Juppe told reporters after the talks in Beijing that Chinese-French relations are excellent; however, he said, that did not mean that the two countries “agree on everything.” Juppe continues his visit to the country on Wednesday.