Syrian President Offers Opponents General Amnesty

Syrian state television has announced that President Bashar al-Assad is offering government opponents general amnesty.

No specifics were revealed on Tuesday.  Facing a tide of continuing protests, Assad's offer extends to members of varied political movements including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The overture comes as activists say Syria's military forces fired heavy machine guns and artillery in the country's center as part of renewed attacks against anti-government protesters.

Tuesday's continued attacks in Rastan are likely to add more casualties to the growing death toll from the continuing military crackdown.

Syrian rights activists have said the crackdown on opposition protesters in the center of the country has killed at least 15 civilians and injured dozens of others since Sunday.

Government forces backed by tanks, artillery and helicopters continue operations in the cities of Talbiseh, Rastan and other central communities where residents have staged anti-government protests in recent days.

Rights groups said three civilians were killed Monday in Talbiseh.  Residents also found the bodies of two people thought to have been killed by Syrian troops in Homs, Syria's third-largest city.

The Associated Press reported that residents of Talbiseh and Rastan used automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades to repel advancing troops.  One activist was quoted as saying the armed resistance was not organized but rath... >>>

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