Heavy shelling rocks Syria protest city of Homs

AFP, Tuesday 7 Feb 2012

Activists say nearly 100 civilians were killed Monday in clashes across Syria, with majority dying in fierce onslaught by government troops in flashpoint city of Homs

A wounded girl is seen in Baba Amro, a neighbourhood of Homs February 6, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Heavy shelling of the central Syrian city of Homs resumed on Tuesday a day after nearly 100 civilians were killed across the country in one of the bloodiest days since the outbreak of a popular revolt.

Sporadic machinegun fire and rocket explosions could be heard in the Baba Amro neighbourhood of the central city which has become a flashpoint of the popular revolt against the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad.

Abu Rami, an activist reached by telephone, said the explosions had continued through the night.

"There are about four blasts every five minutes," he said. "Since this morning the shelling has been concentrated in the neighbourhoods of Baba Amro, Inshaat and Jubar.

"The humanitarian situation is dire. No one can move around. There are snipers everywhere," he added.

Other activists reached by telephone have said food and medicine were in short supply.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 69 civilians were killed on Monday in Homs and its environs after government troops launched the fiercest assault yet on the town.

The Britain-based group said another 13 died in clashes in the northwestern province of Idlib, one in Aleppo, to the north and 15 near the capital Damascus.

According to rights groups, more than 6,000 people have died since the outbreak of the revolt in Syria mid-March.

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