Syrian Violence Kills 13 in Homs Ahead of Monitors’ Visit

Posted December 26th, 2011 at 9:05 am (UTC-5)
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Activists say new violence by Syrian security forces has killed at least 13 people in the city of Homs ahead of a planned visit by Arab League monitors.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Baba Amr district of Homs was being hit by shelling and machinegun fire Monday, a day before Arab League monitors are scheduled to visit the city.

About 50 observers are due to arrive in Syria Monday to monitor compliance with a League plan that would halt the government's bloody suppression of a nine-month uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

France, and the opposition Syrian National Council, are urging the monitors to go immediately to Homs, and not wait for Tuesday.

Syria agreed to the Arab League plan under international pressure.

The United Nations estimates 5,000 people have been killed in violence linked to the uprising since it began in March with protests against Mr. Assad's 11-year autocratic rule. Syria says “armed terrorists” are driving the revolt and accuses them of killing 2,000 security personnel during that period.