At Least 14 Civilians Killed as Syrian Army Pounds Homsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Shelling by the Syrian army killed at least 14 civilians in the central protest city of Homs on Sunday, a rights group said.
The Britain-based group said all but one of them died in Baba Amr, a rebel stronghold in the city which armed forces have targeted for more than a week, killing at least 500 people, according to activists.
It also reported fierce clashes on the northern edge of nearby Rastan, where a woman was killed when a rocket smashed into her home. Elsewhere, snipers shot dead a child in Daraa, cradle of the 11-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
The Observatory added that another 30 tanks and armored personnel carriers were on the way to Homs.
State television aired live footage on Sunday of an official funeral for the 28 people authorities say were killed in twin car bombs that ripped through the northern city of Aleppo on Friday.
The authorities blamed "terrorists" for the attacks, but the rebel Free Syrian Army accused the regime of launching them "to steer attention away from what it is doing in Homs, Zabadani and elsewhere."
A U.S. media report citing unnamed American officials said al-Qaida's Iraqi branch was likely to have carried out the Aleppo bombings, along with attacks in Damascus in December and January.
The bombings appeared to verify Assad's charges of al-Qaida involvement in the uprising against his 11-year rule, said the McClatchy Newspapers chain.
Iraq's deputy interior minister said jihadists were moving from Iraq to Syria, as were weapons for Assad's opponents.
"We have intelligence information that a number of Iraqi jihadists went to Syria," Adnan al-Assadi told Agence France Presse, adding that "weapons smuggling is still ongoing."
And al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri voiced his support for Syria's uprising in a new video posted on jihadist Internet forums, U.S. monitors SITE Intelligence said.
"I appeal to every Muslim and every free, honorable one in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, to rise to help his brothers in Syria with all that he can," he was quoted as saying.
Forty-five people were killed across Syria on Saturday, most of them civilians, the Britain-based Observatory said.
Security forces also advanced into Zabadani, it said, adding that three civilians were killed in the town between Damascus and the Lebanese border.