(CNN) — Syrian tanks and troops stormed a village near the Mediterranean city of Banias on Saturday, killing at least four women and injuring several others, witnesses said.

Residents of Marquab formed a human chain to thwart the military but soldiers raided homes and opened fire, said witnesses who were not identified for security reasons.

A group of frightened and angry women fled to a mosque in the central square and demanded the release of family members who had been arbitrarily arrested, witnesses told CNN. The security forces opened fire.

Witnesses said the army then rolled into Banias. They reported heavy gunfire and severe damage to the city.

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A teacher told CNN that “10,000 of us marched through the city of Banias yesterday carrying olive branches, and today our city is under siege.”

A lawyer who was in the Marquab square reported men in army uniforms dispersed throughout the city and plainclothes snipers on rooftops. He asked why the international community was turning its back on his people.

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