Syria army shells Aleppo rebel districts: NGO
08/12/2012 12:49 GMT
BEIRUT, Aug 12, 2012 (AFP) - The Syrian army shelled rebel-held districts of commercial capital Aleppo on Sunday as fighting flared anew around a southwestern neighbourhood that rebel fighters had quit last week, a monitoring group said.
In Aleppo city, the Shaar, Tariq al-Bab, Sakhur, Hanano and Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhoods all came under bombardment as troops pressed a ground offensive they launched on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
An army colonel was killed in a rebel assault in the Safira district, according to the Britain-based group.
It added that "communications of all forms have been cut off in the city of Aleppo as well as large areas of the province since the morning."
In the central city of Homs, three children on a minibus were killed as they tried to flee with their parents from the Shamas district, where a military operation took place.
The operation also left three other civilians and three rebels dead, the Observatory said.
The opposition Syrian National Council and activist groups charged that pro-government militia summarily executed 10 civilians during a round-up in Shamas on Sunday.
The Observatory also said pro-government forces carried out dozens of arrests but it made no mention of executions.
In the capital Damascus, gunfire was reported in the Qadam neighbourhood, while security forces carried out raids and arrests in the Qabr Aatka district. Strong blasts were heard in the Damascus suburb of Harasta, the Observatory said.
Elsewhere in the province, machinegun fire was heard in Al-Tal, where 15 civilians were killed in shelling and clashes on Saturday as troops tried to regain control of the town from rebels.
The Observatory said at least 26 people were killed across the country on Sunday: 14 civilians, seven soldiers and five rebels. On Saturday, a total of 148 people were killed across Syria, according to the Observatory.
More than 21,000 people have been killed since the revolt broke out 17 months ago, the group says.
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