Security forces intensified their crackdown in the city of Homs in central Syria on Wednesday, killing and wounding several people.There was no definitive total of how many people were killed, but the London-based Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of activists across the country, said seven died.
For days, security forces have been pursuing activists and anti-government protesters in Homs. "All through the night, there was shooting. The gunfire didn't stop," a resident of the city told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday. "I can't tell exactly what is going on because it's dangerous to go out," he added, requesting anonymity for fear of reprisals.
-------Syria asked the head of the Arab League to put off his visit to Damascus, the state-run Syrian News Agency SANA reported Wednesday. 'Syria asked the Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Araby to postpone his visit to Damascus for objective reasons he was informed of,' SANA said.
The proposal reportedly calls for an end to the bloodshed, the introduction of political pluralism and free elections in 2014.
On Tuesday, security forces opened fire from a checkpoint in Rastan, just north of Homs, killing two people, including a 15-year-old boy, activists said. They said five unidentified corpses, including that of a woman, also were found dumped around the city center.
Mobile telephones, land lines and Internet connections in some parts of Homs were cut off. Many people were staying home because of roads blocked by security forces. Others were too scared to leave.