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Gunfire Reported In Syrian Cities

DAMASCUS, Syria, Aug. 29 (UPI) — Heavy gunfire was reported in Hit, a Syrian village near the Lebanese border, and Rastan, north of Homs, where security forces were deployed, officials said.

There was a report that hostages had been taken and homes destroyed.

The latest developments Monday came amid reports that Nabil al-Arabi the secretary-general of the Arab League announced plans to visit Damascus in an effort to help solve the crisis there, the BBC reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on its Web site reports had been received that Syrian security forces took some hostages, destroyed homes and threatened family members of wanted fugitives.

The site said doctors suspected of treating anti-government protesters had been arrested and many pharmacies were shut down to prevent them from assisting injured protesters.

CNN said authorities in Syria imposed changes on the news media, placing restrictions on published material and holding editors and journalists accountable for violations.

Media outlets will be barred from publishing news related to the country’s security forces or content that affects “national unity and national security,” CNN said.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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