Arab monitors due in Syria as violence flares

Arab monitors due in Syria as violence flares

BEIRUT - The Associated Press
Arab monitors due in Syria as violence flares

Syrian mourners attend the mass funeral of 44 people killed in twin suicide bombings which targeted intelligence agency compounds at the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus on December 24, 2011. AFP Photo

An Arab League observer mission is due to arrive in Syria, as activists report new deaths in the government's crackdown on a nine-month uprising.

Opposition activists say at least six people were killed by heavy machine gun fire and mortar shells fired by government troops besieging the restive Baba Amr district of Homs, a city in the center of the country.
The Arab observers arriving Monday are tasked with monitoring Syria's compliance with an Arab plan to end the crackdown on dissent. The U.N. says more than 5,000 people have been killed since March.

The opposition urged the observers to head immediately to Homs to witness the crackdown there.
The Baba Amr district has been a center for anti-government protests and army defections and has been under attack for days.