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Syria Death Toll Reportedly Up to 850


Syrian women and children arrive in Wadi Khaled in northern Lebanon, near the Lebanese-Syrian border May 16, 2011

Syrian women and children arrive in Wadi Khaled in northern Lebanon, near the Lebanese-Syrian border May 16, 2011

Syria deployed more tanks on Monday around villages near the Lebanese border and the flashpoint city of Daraa, as activists say the death toll from the crackdown on anti-government protesters has risen to at least 850.

The National Organization for Human Rights in Syria says violence in the southern villages of Inkhil and Jassem has killed at least 34 people in the past five days. Residents reported tanks patrolling Monday around the town of Arida, near the Lebanese border, and Inkhil, near Daraa.

Syrian security forces killed at least seven civilians Sunday when troops shelled the western city of Talkalakh near the Lebanese border, after hundreds of people fled into Lebanon to escape the crackdown.The exodus into Lebanon peaked over the last three days as the Syrian government intensified forces on the western city.

View the slide show of Syria turmoil

More than 5,000 Syrian civilians have fled into Lebanon since protesters began calling for President Bashar al-Assad's resignation in mid-March.

Rights groups say arrests continue in some parts of Syria, but that several leading politicians and activists have been released from detention.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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