Pregnant woman among 5 dead in Syria's Homs: NGO
BEIRUT- Agence France-Presse
Demonstrators gather as they protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Bennish, near Idlib July 13, 2012. U.N. observers in Syria described an attack on a village in the Hama region in which about 220 people were reported killed as part of a continuing Syrian air force operation, the U.N. mission said in an assessment obtained by Reuters on Friday. The banner reads "Step down (Kofi) Annan, servant for Assad and Iran". REUTERS Photo
Shelling and fighting in the central Syrian province of Homs killed at least five people yesterday, including a pregnant woman and two rebels, a rights watchdog reported.
The woman was killed in shelling of Qusayr city, while the rebel fighters died during clashes in the Homs city neighbourhoods of Sultaniyeh, Qarabis and Khaldiyeh, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Elsewhere, helicopters backed by armoured vehicles attacked Khirbet Ghazaleh in the southern province of Darra, a main hotbed of dissent against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, it added without providing any casualty figures.
On Friday, violence across Syria killed at least 118 people, including dozens of civilians when government forces fired on anti-regime protests, said the Observatory.
Eleven children were among the 49 civilians who died, and 37 soldiers and 32 rebel fighters were killed, at least 18 of them when troops raided areas of northwestern province of Idlib.
Fourteen civilians that were killed on Friday died in the Damascus district of Tadamon and in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmuk, also in the capital, said the Observatory.
Protesters had taken to the streets on Friday to renew their demands for the fall of the regime, including in the Damascus districts of Nahr Aysha and Sayida Zainab, where troops used gunfire to disperse them.
On Thursday, more than 200 people were killed in Syria, including over 150 in the central village of Treisma when the army attacked rebels using tanks and helicopter gunships, drawing strong condemnation from world leaders.
It is not possible to independently verify death tolls in Syria. The United Nations stopped compiling such figures at the end of 2011.
The Observatory has said more than 17,000 people have been killed since the uprising erupted against the regime of Assad in mid-March last year.