110 die in latest attack on Homs in Syria

Thursday 09 February 2012 22.06
More than 400 have died in Homs since attacks escalated on Saturday
More than 400 have died in Homs since attacks escalated on Saturday

At least 110 people were killed today in the latest government blitz on the besieged Syrian city of Homs, an activist group said.

"This number includes three families whose bodies were dug up from under the rubble of their homes, bodies brought to field hospitals and people who died their from their wounds today," the Local Coordination Committees said in a statement.

Earlier today, Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 53 people were killed in shelling and other violence in Homs province.

He said 36 died in the Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs city and 11 were killed when a shell slammed into a house in the city's Inshaat district.

Six more people died in the city's Khaldiyeh and Karm el-Zeytoun neighbourhoods he added.

Ali Hazuri, a doctor in Baba Amr contacted by AFP, said the shelling had eased overnight but resumed at daybreak.

"The shells are raining down on us and regime forces are using heavy artillery," he said.

Omar Shaker, an activist in Baba Amr, added that residents of the neighbourhood were hiding on the ground floor of buildings as there were no underground shelters.

"When you venture outside, you can see craters every 10 meters (yards)," he said.

Makeshift hospitals in opposition areas of Homs are overflowing with the dead and wounded, according to a report by international monitor Human Rights Watch.

It says that more than 300 people have been killed since the government assault on the central city was launched on Friday night.

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said yesterday that the "appalling brutality" of the assault on Homs "is a grim harbinger of worse to come."

He launched the idea of sending a joint observer mission with the Arab League as he bemoaned the UN Security Council's failure to agree a resolution on the crisis.

Rights groups estimate more than 6,000 people have died in the regime crackdown on protests since mid-March.

The revolt started with street protests but has become an armed insurgency in many parts of the country.

Authorities say they are fighting foreign backed "terrorists" in Homs.