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Syria Clashes: Homs Death Toll ‘Soars To 350’

The death toll from shelling by Syrian security forces in the city of Homs has soared to almost 350, an opposition member has told Sky News.

It had earlier been reported that more than 200 people had died in the attack which lasted more than three hours.

But Mohamed Khalid, of the Syrian National Council in Cairo, said the latest casualty figure was at least 337 – with 72 children and 45 women among the bodies already identified. He said another 1,100 were wounded, with 95 in a critical condition. Mr Khalid added that ambulances were unable to reach the injured and that people had resorted to carrying them in their cars – which were in turn were being shelled by government forces.

He claimed the regime was using long-range artillery to fire shells from three miles away, targeting several neighbourhoods including Khalidiya.

Abu Rami Alhomsy of the Syrian Revolutionary General Commission said. “It was a normal day for a demonstration but last night they started shelling this neighbourhood. “We have many injuries. Many women and children have been killed and injured.”

As explosions sounded in the background, Mr Alhomsy said: “I am hiding in the street with many people around me. They are shooting into here from an outside area. “Oh my God.” It is not possible to verify activist reports as the Syrian government restricts access for independent media. State media blamed the attacks on armed gangs.

As news of the violence spread, activists used social media to orchestrate protests at Syrian diplomatic outposts around the world.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 217 people were killed in the Khalidya district of Homs. “This is the worst attack of the uprising, since the uprising began in March until now,” Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the London-based observatory, said. “Syrian forces are shelling the district with mortars from several locations,” he added.

Activists said hundreds of people were wounded in the attack, north of the capital Damascus.

Homs has become a flashpoint of the 10-month revolt against the regime of President Bashar al Assad.

…(Sky News)

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February 5, 2012 - Posted by | Violence, War | , , , , ,

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