Homs under heavy shelling
DAMASCUS - 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.
The heavy shelling comes as Syria's government vowed Tuesday to push forth with its onslaught on the central province of Homs in a bid to rid the region from what it said were "armed terrorist gangs".
"Operations to hunt down terrorist groups will continue until security and order are reestablished in all neighbourhoods of Homs and its environs and until we overcome all armed persons terrorising citizens and threatening their life," the interior ministry said in a statement carried by SANA state news agency.
It accused "terrorist groups" of committing atrocities in Homs province in recent weeks which it said killed hundreds of people.
It added that clashes on Monday between government troops and "armed gangs" had left six security forces dead and 11 injured.
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.