63 Killed amid 'Terrifying Explosions' in Homs, Protest in Aleppoإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Syrian regime forces killed 63 people and pounded rebel districts of the flashpoint central city of Homs for a 20th straight day on Thursday.
Seventeen unidentified bodies, 10 children, a media activist and a dissident soldier were among the 63 victims, the Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said.
Twenty-four people were killed in the flashpoint central province of Hama, 18 in the restive northwestern province of Idlib, nine in the eastern protest hub of Deir al-Zour, three in the southern province of Quneitra, two in the central opposition bastion of Homs, two in the northern province of al-Raqqa, two in the Damascus suburbs of Daraya and Douma and one in the northern province of Aleppo, the LCC said.
In Homs, the neighborhood of "Baba Amr, as well as parts of Inshaat have been shelled since 07:00 am (05:00 GMT), while mortar rounds slammed into the Khaldiyeh neighborhood," the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul Rahman, told Agence France Presse.
The bombardment came a day after heavy shelling of Baba Amr, under siege since February 4, killed dozens of people, including two Western journalists.
"We hear terrifying explosions," said activist Hadi Abdullah.
Abdullah, a member of the General Commission of the Syrian Revolution, said that the international outcry over Wednesday's deaths appeared only to have strengthened the regime's determination to eliminate all opposition in the city -- Syria's third largest.
"The more the condemnations pile on, the heavier the bombing becomes," he told AFP.
Abdullah said there was evidence that the makeshift media center where two journalists were killed and two others wounded was deliberately targeted by regime forces.
"We are sure that the center was targeted, because 11 rockets struck in and around it," he said.
"The regime forces intercepted a transmission signal," he added.
Abdullah said that communications between activists had been almost completely cut.
"Today, we couldn't get in touch with around a dozen activists, not by Skype nor by Thuraya (satellite phone)," he said.
Meanwhile, Syrian security forces fired tear gas at protesting students and made arrests at the University of Aleppo, as violence surged in the northern economic hub, a monitor said.
Dozens of students suffered from gas inhalation as security forces fired canisters to disperse them, as they made several attempts to stage a protest on campus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Some 12 students were detained and taken to the university branch of the ruling Baath party, the Britain-based Observatory said.
On Tuesday, security forces opened fire at a protest at the same university. Syria's second-largest city, Aleppo has until recently been spared the violence that rights groups say has killed more than 7,600 people since it erupted last March.
More than 7,600 people have been killed in violence since protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad erupted in March last year, according to Syrian Observatory figures.