Troops pound Homs, 40 killed in Syria

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Troops pound Homs, 40 killed in Syria

BEIRUT - Syrian forces pounded Homs on Monday as they pressed their campaign against rebel strongholds in the city and as at least 40 people were reported killed across the strife-torn country, a watchdog said.

By (AFP)

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Published: Mon 18 Jun 2012, 6:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 2:41 PM

Monday’s casualties come a day after 67 people were killed nationwide, including 15 in Homs province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Shelling and shooting renewed in Homs city, with explosions heard in the Khaldiyeh neighbourhood,” the Britain-based monitoring group said.

“Regime forces trying to enter Khaldiyeh and other neighbourhoods are facing fierce resistance from rebel fighters.”

Six people, including at least three rebels, were killed in Homs province, and a civilian died in shelling in the town of Rastan, the Observatory said.

And in Deir Ezzor province, seven people including two rebel commanders were killed in an explosion in Mohassan.

Clashes and shelling continued overnight in several areas of Damascus province, including in Douma and Qoudsaya, which have been pounded by regime forces for the past five days.

Six people — among them two children — were killed in Douma, the Observatory said.

“The army has escalated its operations in Douma in recent days,” anti-regime activist Mohammad Doumani told AFP via Skype. “Regime forces have destroyed homes, farms and many mosques.”

The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), grouping opposition activists on the ground, said Qoudsaya was shelled heavily, and that snipers were firing at anything that moved.

Fares Mohamed, an LCC member in Zabadani northwest of Damascus, told AFP by email that Syrian forces had “imposed a suffocating blockade” around Qoudsaya and a nearby town.

He said the shelling began after an anti-regime demonstration in Qoudsaya. Mohamed said “huge military reinforcements” had arrived and that the wounded could not be treated because the shelling and sniper fire was so intense.

The Observatory reported one person killed in a blast in Damascus province, while in the southern province of Daraa, one civilian was reported killed overnight as rebels clashed with the army in the Al-Lajat area.

Another civilian was killed in Tafas as regime forces stormed the town.

And in central Hama province, two young sisters were killed when Qalaa Al Madiq was shelled before dawn, the Observatory said, adding that another civilian was shot dead at a regime checkpoint.

In the northern province of Aleppo, unidentified gunmen killed a woman, it said.

Regime forces backed by aircraft also pounded for more than seven hours overnight a region known as the Kurdish Mountain in the northwest province of Latakia, forcing many residents to flee, the watchdog said.

Two civilians were also shot dead in the coastal province.

In the northwestern province of Idlib two civilians were killed, the Observatory said.

Ten regime troops were also killed in clashes overnight and on Monday, the watchdog said.

The rising violence prompted UN observers to suspend their monitoring mission at the weekend. More than 14,400 people have died in the 16-month uprising against President Bashar Al Assad’s regime, according to Observatory figures.

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