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Syrian Activists Say 5 Killed in Homs Province


An image grab from footage uploaded on YouTube made available on September 18, 2011, shows a protest by Syrian students on the first day of school in the flashpoint city of Homs.

An image grab from footage uploaded on YouTube made available on September 18, 2011, shows a protest by Syrian students on the first day of school in the flashpoint city of Homs.

Syrian rights activists say security forces have killed five people during raids on anti-government protesters in the central Homs province.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say witnesses heard shooting during raids Monday in the city of Houla. Central Homs province has seen anti-regime protests during the past six months and has been raided frequently by government forces.

The killings come a day after dozens of Syrian opposition members convened in the capital, Damascus, and called on President Bashar al-Assad to end his deadly crackdown on peaceful protesters across the country.

The National Democratic Change group organized the weekend meeting, attended by a group of opposition figures, including leading writer Michel Kilo, Arab and Kurdish nationalists, Islamists and secularists.

They called on Syrians to continue their peaceful movement against Mr. Assad's rule and urged the government to stop all acts of repression and violence against citizens.

Most other opposition meetings have taken place outside of Syria.

Inside the country, the U.N. estimates some 2,600 people have died in the bloody government crackdown.

Last week, Syrian security forces shot and killed at least 15 people as they conducted raids and fired on protesters who flooded streets after Friday prayers.

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

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