Last updated: 29 May, 2012

19 dead in Syria violence, including 7 in Homs

At least 19 people were killed in violence on Tuesday in Syria, where clashes between regime troops and rebels raged, monitors said, as envoy Kofi Annan held talks with President Bashar al-Assad.

In central Homs province, seven civilians were killed overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Three of them died when the army shelled the outskirts of restive Qusayr, while four died in the city of Homs.

One of those killed in Homs was filmmaker and photography student Bassel Shehade, who returned to Syria from the United States around three months ago, according to a Facebook page set up by activists.

His killing at the hands of regime forces was an act of “treason to humankind,” the page said.

In northern Aleppo province, rebels and regime forces clashed on the edge of Atarib town on Monday night, the Britain-based Observatory said.

In Damascus province, clashes broke out between rebels and regime forces after the army raided two areas, Al-Halala and the outskirts of Qatna. The brother of a rebel fighter was killed, the rights watchdog said, adding that dozens were badly wounded.

Also in Damascus province, a civilian was killed in Ain Tarma village by regime forces’ gunfire.

In central Hama, two civilians were reportedly killed by sniper fire, while two regular army troops were killed in northeastern Raqqa.

Regime forces pounded the town using “heavy machinegunfire and shells,” the Observatory said, saying five rebel fighters were also killed.

In northwestern Idlib province, a civilian was shot dead in Maaret al-Numan village, where rebels and regime troops also clashed, injuring five regular soldiers.

The violence raged on the second day of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s visit to Syria, where more than 280 people have been killed since Friday, according to a toll compiled by AFP based on Observatory figures.

Of the total, 108 people were killed in the central town of Houla on Friday to Saturday.

The killings took place despite a ceasefire that has been continuously violated ever since it came into force as part of Annan’s six-point peace plan on April 12.