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Violence dims Syria truce hopes, over 100 killed - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on April 6, 2012, shows Syrian government soldiers firing at a camera man as they patrol the southern Syiran province of Daraa. (AFP)

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on April 6, 2012, shows Syrian government soldiers firing at a camera man as they patrol the southern Syiran province of Daraa. (AFP)

BEIRUT, (Reuters) — Syrian troops pounded opposition areas, activists said, killing 74 civilians in an offensive that has sent thousands of refugees surging into Turkey before next week’s U.N.-backed ceasefire aimed at staunching a year of bloodshed.

At least 15 rebels and 17 security force members were also killed, raising the death toll in violence to over 100.

Each side has accused the other of intensifying assaults in the run-up to the truce due to take effect early on Thursday if government forces begin pulling back from towns 48 hours earlier in line with U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

The military shelled Deir Baalba district in Homs, killing four people, the grassroots Local Coordination Committees opposition group said. Thirteen men were also found killed in cold blood in the same area, it said.

Amateur activist video showed scenes of carnage said to be the aftermath of the shelling. Mangled limbs and body parts in blankets were being loaded on a pick-up truck. A second video showed 13 men who appeared to have been tied up and executed.

No comment was immediately available from Syrian officials. The videos could not be independently verified. The government has placed tight restrictions on media access in Syria.

– Syrian troops pounded opposition areas, activists said, killing 74 civilians in an offensive that has sent thousands of refugees surging into Turkey before next week’s U.N.-backed ceasefire aimed at staunching a year of bloodshed.

At least 15 rebels and 17 security force members were also killed, raising the death toll in violence to over 100.

Each side has accused the other of intensifying assaults in the run-up to the truce due to take effect early on Thursday if government forces begin pulling back from towns 48 hours earlier in line with U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

The military shelled Deir Baalba district in Homs, killing four people, the grassroots Local Coordination Committees opposition group said. Thirteen men were also found killed in cold blood in the same area, it said.

Amateur activist video showed scenes of carnage said to be the aftermath of the shelling. Mangled limbs and body parts in blankets were being loaded on a pick-up truck. A second video showed 13 men who appeared to have been tied up and executed.

No comment was immediately available from Syrian officials. The videos could not be independently verified. The government has placed tight restrictions on media access in Syria.

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube shows Syrian Army tanks patrolling in Duma on the suburb of the capital Damascus on April 6, 2012. (AFP)

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube shows Syrian Army tanks patrolling in Duma on the suburb of the capital Damascus on April 6, 2012. (AFP)

An Anti-Syrian regime protester holds up portraits of two army defectors who died in clashes in the eastern town of Qouriah, during a demonstration after Friday prayers in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, April 6, 2012. (AP)

An Anti-Syrian regime protester holds up portraits of two army defectors who died in clashes in the eastern town of Qouriah, during a demonstration after Friday prayers in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, April 6, 2012. (AP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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