AMMAN - Syrian troops and militiamen loyal to President Bashar Assad killed three people in attacks on districts across the city of Homs on Tuesday, residents said, as a crackdown to crush pro-democracy protests intensified.
"There are troops and armored vehicles in every neighborhood. The irregular forces with them are death squads. They have been firing indiscriminately since dawn with rifles and machine guns. No one can leave their homes," one of the residents told Reuters by phone.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 30 people were killed in Homs in factional fighting over the weekend, with bodies of members of the minority Alawite sect, the same as Assad, found mutilated. But the Syrian National Human Rights Organization said that only seven people were killed on the weekend in attacks by security forces.
The Syrian authorities have expelled most foreign journalists, making it hard to verify witness accounts or official statements.