Syria forces shell Homs, Saudis push U.N. resolution

Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:17pm GMT
 

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Angus MacSwan

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian forces unleashed new tank and rocket bombardments on opposition neighborhoods of Homs on Saturday while diplomats sought U.N. backing for an Arab plan to end 11 months of bloodshed in Syria.

Activists said seven people were killed in the latest attacks in a week-long government siege of Homs, a battered city at the heart of the uprising to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Mohammed Hassan, one opposition campaigner in Homs, told Reuters by satellite telephone that a 55-year-old woman was among those killed by shellfire on the Bab Amro district.

The bloodshed followed a day of violence across Syria on Friday, when bombings targeting security bases killed at least 28 people in Aleppo and rebel fighters battled troops in a Damascus suburb after dark.

Assad has ignored repeated international appeals, the latest from the European Union, to halt his crackdown.

"I am appalled by the reports of the brutal attacks by the Syrian armed forces in Homs. I condemn in the strongest terms these acts perpetrated by the Syrian regime against its own civilian," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

However, the world is deeply divided over how to end the Syria conflict. On Sunday Russia and China vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution sponsored by Western and Arab states that backed an Arab League call for Assad to step down.

HOMS SUFFERS   Continued...

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