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Syria negotiator says Homs once again a 'theatre of death'

BEIRUT (Reuters) - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Thursday that a deal between trapped fighters and civilians in Homs city and the Syrian authorities had broken down, as government forces appeared close to retaking the besieged opposition area. Homs, a religiously-mixed city, was the scene of early protests against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011 and has become a symbol of the destructive nature of Syria's civil war, with many of its neighborhoods leveled by army shells.

Hundreds of Syria's Homs evacuees fear indefinite detention

Around 400 men, including rebels and draft evaders, from besieged areas of the Syrian city of Homs who surrendered to the authorities fear they may be held indefinitely, activists said Tuesday. Evacuations began in February in a UN-supervised humanitarian operation during which around 1,400 people have left the war-battered rebel areas. The operation was initially intended to allow women, children and the elderly to leave the Old City, where people have been surviving on little more than herbs for nearly two years, but scores of men also left.

Hundreds of Syria's Homs evacuees fear indefinite detention

Around 400 men, including rebels and draft evaders, from besieged areas of the Syrian city of Homs who surrendered to the authorities fear they may be held indefinitely, activists said Tuesday. Evacuations began in February in a UN-supervised humanitarian operation during which around 1,400 people have left the war-battered rebel areas. The operation was initially intended to allow women, children and the elderly to leave the Old City, where people have been surviving on little more than herbs for nearly two years, but scores of men also left.

Syria army launches assault in besieged Homs

Syrian army troops backed by pro-regime militiamen entered rebel-held neighbourhoods of the central city of Homs on Tuesday after laying siege to the districts for nearly two years. The assault follows a UN operation earlier this year that saw some 1,400 people trapped inside the besieged neighbourhoods evacuated, though around 1,300 people, mostly fighters, remained behind. It comes a day after the regime seized the Christian town of Maalula in the Qalamun region and as media reported the country would soon move into election mode.

Syria army launches assault on besieged Homs: state TV

Syria's army launched a major ground assault on the central city of Homs on Tuesday, state television said, with troops entering rebel-held districts under government siege for nearly two years. "The Syrian army and the (pro-regime militia) National Defence Forces (NDF) have achieved key successes in the Old City of Homs," Syrian state television said, adding that troops were advancing in several besieged neighbourhoods in the area. An activist on the ground and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights NGO both confirmed the report.

Syria army launches assault on besieged Homs: state TV

Syria's army launched a major ground assault on the central city of Homs on Tuesday, state television said, with troops entering rebel-held districts under government siege for nearly two years. "The Syrian army and the (pro-regime militia) National Defence Forces have achieved key successes in the Old City of Homs," Syrian state television said, adding that troops were advancing in several besieged neighbourhoods in the area. bur-sah/ser/bpz

Hundreds of evacuees from Syria's Homs fear indefinite detention

Some 400 men, including rebels and draft evaders from besieged areas of Syria's city of Homs, who recently surrendered to the authorities, fear they may be held indefinitely, activists said Tuesday. Evacuations from the battered districts began in February, during a UN-supervised humanitarian operation that saw some 1,400 people leave the blockaded rebel areas. The operation was initially intended to allow women, children and the elderly to leave the areas, where people have been surviving on little more than herbs for nearly two years, but scores of men also left.

At least 25 dead, 107 wounded in double attack on Syrian city of Homs

Damascus, Apr 9 (EFE).- At least 25 people died Wednesday and 107 were wounded when two car bombs exploded in the central Syrian city of Homs, the state-run Sana news agency reported. The double attack was staged in the Karm al Luz district, which has an Alawite majority, the sect to which Syrian President Bashar al Assad belongs. A local government official told Sana that "terrorists" detonated a vehicle that was parked on Al Jadari Street and a second vehicle blew up half an hour later in the same area.

Dutch Jesuit priest abducted and killed in Syria: report

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch Jesuit priest was abducted and shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Monday, Dutch media reported . Frans van der Lugt, 75, had been living in Syria since the early 1970s. Armed men took him from his home in the morning and shot him twice in the head, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reported, citing the head of the Jesuit order in the Netherlands.

Dutch priest who saw Syria as home shot dead in Homs

Dutch priest Frans van der Lugt, who gained renown for his insistence on staying in Syria's besieged city of Homs, was shot dead there on Monday by an unknown gunman. His death was reported by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syria's state news agency SANA, and was confirmed by the Dutch Jesuit Order. The motive for his murder was unclear. Van der Lugt, 75, had become a well-known figure in the Old City of Homs, respected by many for his solidarity with residents of the rebel-held area under a government siege for nearly two years.
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