Syrian Forces Shell Homs, Block Aid to Rebel Stronghold

Posted March 3rd, 2012 at 6:10 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian troops shelled several districts in the flashpoint city of Homs Saturday where a standoff continued between authorities and Red Cross workers trying to deliver medical supplies and food to those stranded in the area.

Activists and medical workers say forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad fired mortars into at least four neighborhoods across Homs early Saturday. The number of injured is unknown.

Elsewhere in Homs, the Red Cross says Syrian authorities are continuing to block its convoy of seven trucks carrying aid to the Baba Amr neighborhood where rebels and citizens have been under siege by government forces for nearly a month. The Red Cross says the government initially gave it permission, on Thursday, to enter the area after Syrian forces took control and rebel forces fled the district.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Syria to give humanitarian workers immediate access to people who desperately need aid in its besieged cities.

In other violence, the state-run SANA news agency says a suicide car bomber killed two people in an explosion in the southern city of Deraa Saturday. Several others were also wounded in the blast.