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Syrian city under attack by military tanks: report

The restive Syrian city of Homs is reportedly under siege by military tanks.

Syria bashar al assad 2011 12 24Enlarge
A Syrian performer hangs from hooks while holding his national flag in front of a giant picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a show of endurance during a pro-regime rally in Damascus on December 2, 2011. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Activists in the Syrian city of Homs said President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces have renewed attacks in the area and residents are calling for Western intervention, Al Jazeera reported

Military tanks have been reportedly shelling the city Saturday, killing more than a dozen and destroying buildings, according to local activists.

"So many people are been killed, we have counted so far 16 people have been killed and we've got so many injured, so many houses have been destroyed and we don't know what to do. Everywhere from every side we can see tanks very clearly and different types of heavy machine guns have been used since morning,” an unidentified Homs resident was quoted in the report saying. 

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The reports come as thousands of mourners turned out for funerals of the 44 people that were killed by Friday’s suicide bombers in Damascus, the AFP reported

The funerals turned into pro-government rallies, however, with Syrians chanting “Death to America” and "We sacrifice our souls and blood for you, Bashar" during the procession, according to the BBC

Questions circulate over who carried out the suicide attacks.

Syria blamed the attacks on al Qaeda on state television minutes after the explosions but did not say how they discovered the who did it so quickly.

Some Syrian activists and members of the opposition charged Assad’s regime for setting up the attack just one day before Arab League monitors met at the nation’s capital to discuss a peace deal to end the the violent crackdowns against government protesters.

"The Syrian regime, alone, bears all the direct responsibility for the two terrorist explosions" as it wanted to give the impression "it faces danger from abroad and not a popular revolution,” the Syrian National Council said.

Assad’s government have repeatedly denied being responsible for the more than 5,000 Syrians that died since the nine-month-old government uprising began.

More from GlobalPost: Syria says 2,000 security forces killed 

In a letter sent to the UN on Thursday, Syria continued to deny being responsible for the violent crackdowns and blamed armed gangs involved in a foreign conspiracy to topple the government. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/111224/homs-syrian-city-under-attack-military-tanks