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Syria: Homs violence escalates on fifth day

Heavy artillery and tanks fired in the streets of Homs for the fifth day according to activists.

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An image grab taken from footage filmed in Homs on January 18, 2012 and received by Agence France Presse (AFP) on January 19, shows a Syrian army tank deployed in the Bayada district of the flashpoint central Syrian city. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Violence escalated in the Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday, the fifth day it has been bombarded by tanks in its streets, the BBC reported.

Activists have told news agencies that tanks and heavy artillery have been rolled out at an unprecedented scale. Residents told the Guardian more than 200 rockets fell in the space of just three hours in one part of Homs. Military forces, supporting the government of President Bashar al Assad, have killed civilians while in their homes, witnesses told the BBC.

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"We are seriously dying here. It is really war," Waleed Farah told the Guardian via satellite phone from a neighboring rebel-held area.

Shelling and gunfire continued at dawn on Wednesday, the fifth day of deadly violence in Homs. Troops have cut off power, communications and supplies in an attempt to crush any resistance to Assad’s regime, the Australian Broadcast Company reported. Nearly 70 people have been killed and activists said residents are just “waiting to die.”

"Every house here in Baba Amr is a target," said a resident from the Baba Amr area of Homs, the BBC reported. "You have to be lucky to survive."

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An activist told the Guardian dead people were laying under the rubble that was one their homes and so far knows of 27 people being killed.

BBC’s correspondent Paul Wood, who’s reporting from outside of Homs, said most people are hiding indoors, terrified to go outside, especially in the hardest hit areas. Many activists fear the constant violence in Homs is paving the way for a full ground assault in upcoming days, ABC reported.

It was also reported that 18 premature babies died after their incubators were turned off due to the power cuts, according to the BBC. However, state television said Homs hospitals weren’t affected and operating normally.

On Tuesday, Assad had promised the violence would end.

More from GlobalPost: Syria: Tanks open fire in Homs despite peace deal (VIDEO)

 


 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120208/syria-homs-violence-escalates-fifth-day