Troops continue Homs shelling

Troops continue Homs shelling

Troops are shelling several districts in the rebellious central Syrian city of Homs where the government is keeping a Red Cross convoy blocked from reaching thousands stranded in the area, activists have said.

Abu Hassan al-Homsi, a doctor at a makeshift clinic in the Khaldiyeh district of Homs said he has treated a dozen wounded.

The Local Co-ordination Committees activist network said mortars have slammed into Khaldiyeh, Bab Sbaa and Khader districts of the city early today.

The shelling comes amid a stand-off between the government and the Red Cross, which said authorities have prevented its convoy from delivering badly needed food, medical supplies and blankets to thousands of people still stranded in Baba Amr, the rebel-held district of Homs that was overrun by troops on Thursday.

A suicide car bomb exploded in the southern city of Daraa, known as the birthplace of the country’s uprising, and casualties were reported, the state-run news agency said.

The blast came as Syria continued to block a Red Cross convoy from delivering badly needed aid to a rebellious neighbourhood in the central city of Homs.

The SANA news agency said the suicide bombing occurred at a roundabout in the heart of Daraa, an area known as Daraa al-Balad, causing multiple casualties and damaging buildings and shops there.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least two people were killed and several others wounded in the explosion.

Syria has seen a string of suicide bombings, the last on February 10, when twin suicide bombs struck security compounds in the government stronghold city of Aleppo, killing 28 people and bringing significant violence for the first time to the city.

The capital Damascus, another stronghold of president Bashar Assad, has seen three suicide bombings in the past two months.

The regime has touted the attacks as proof that it is being targeted by “terrorists”. The opposition accuses forces loyal to the government of being behind the bombings to tarnish the uprising.

Today’s bombing in Daraa marked the first time a suicide bombing struck an opposition stronghold. Daraa is the birthplace of the nearly year-old uprising against Assad. The revolt has killed more than 7,500 people, according to most recent UN estimates.

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