‘Dozens’ of Syrians Killed, Hundreds More Wounded in Homs

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Six days after shelling began in the central Syrian city of Homs, dozens are dead and hundreds of others have been wounded according to residents and activists.

Syrian army forces fired tank shells into the Bab Amro district, the flashpoint section of the city where residents have been demonstrating against the government for days, the Reuters news agency reported Monday.

At least 12 more people were killed Sunday as the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice, began.

“They are now storming houses and arresting people,” Raed Ahmad, one of the activists, said by telephone. “The regime wants everything to look spic and span for the Arab League,” he added bitterly. “They even started painting army troop carriers police blue and the shabbiha (pro-Assad forces) are wearning brand new police uniforms churned out by state factories,” he added.

However, the Arab League appeared not to be impressed.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani called for an emergency meeting of Arab League members at the foreign ministers’ level to meet Saturday to discuss Syria’s failure to implement the agreement it signed last week with the League.

Syria announced last Wednesday that Assad had agreed in a deal worked out with the Arab League to “stop all acts of violence from any source in protection of the Syrian citizens.”

The plan included releasing those who were arrested “as a result of the current events” and clearing the cities and residential areas “from all armed aspects,” according to the SANA news agency.

To date, the United Nations has said that more than 3,000 people have been killed in the government crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. However, that number is far smaller than that claimed by local activists.

The National Organization for Human Rights Activists claimed Monday that more than 4,200 people have died since the grassroots uprising against the Assad regime began in March.


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