Syrian troops bomb rebel-held neighborhood in Homs

Posted: June 8, 2012 at 11:25 a.m.

— Syrian troops on Friday heavily shelled a rebel-held neighborhood in the flashpoint central city of Homs in a fierce assault as the military appeared to be readying to storm the district, activists said.

In Homs, one of the main battlegrounds in the 15-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad, regime troops were trying to advance into the opposition-held district of Khaldiyeh from three sides, battling with armed rebels trying to stop them, said Tarek Badrakhan, an activist based in the neighborhood speaking via Skype.

“This is the worst shelling we’ve had since the start of the revolution,” he said. A shell could be heard exploding in the background as he spoke.

Shells were hitting the neighborhood at a rate of five to 10 a minute, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “It seems they are trying to enter it today,” it said.

The Observatory and another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, had no immediate word on casualties.

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