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Syrian Forces Kill 2 in Homs Raid


The banners read "The deaf and the blind devil" (L) and "Step down devil" (C), as people protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after Friday prayers in the city of Homs, September 16, 2011.

The banners read "The deaf and the blind devil" (L) and "Step down devil" (C), as people protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after Friday prayers in the city of Homs, September 16, 2011.

Syrian security forces have raided a neighborhood in the central Homs region, killing at least two people.

Rights activists say the deadly violence took place on Tuesday after forces moved into the neighborhood to crack down on anti-government protests. Activists say Syrian forces killed five people Monday in a raid in Homs province.

Meanwhile, Syria's state-run news agency says there has been "wide participation" in a new round of "national dialogue" sessions, designed to bring about government reforms.

The SANA news agency said Tuesday that political, civic and religious representatives are among those who have met to discuss building a "modern Syria." Opposition groups say they are not part of the discussions.

Meanwhile, France and the United States are pushing for the U.N. Security Council to address Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's deadly crackdown on dissent.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Monday the silence of the Security Council is "unconscionable" and that crimes against humanity are being committed in Syria.

U.S. officials say Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that the council should speak out, calling the violence in Syria inexcusable.

The U.N. human rights office says at least 2,700 people have been killed during Syria's crackdown, including 100 children.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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