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The Syrian government used controlled explosives and bulldozers to raze thousands of residential buildings, sometimes entire neighborhoods, in a campaign that appeared to punish civilians sympathetic to the opposition or to cause disproportionate harm, an international human rights group said Thursday.The demolitions took place between July 2012 and July 2013 in seven pro-opposition districts in and around the capital, Damascus, and the central city of Hama, according to a 38-page report by Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch said many of the demolished buildings were apartment blocks, and that thousands of families had lost their homes because of the destruction.There also is no indication, HRW said, that pro-government districts have been targeted for similar controlled destruction.HRW also said that owners it interviewed reported receiving no compensation from the government.Human Rights Watch said it based its report on 14 satellite images, interviews with 16 witnesses and owners of houses that were demolished.
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