Syrian army raid of Homs turns deadly

Syrian troops with tanks clamped down Monday on the flashpoint province of Homs and shot dead at least three people, a day after gunboats joined an assault on the port city of Latakia in which dozens died, activists said.

As the country's anti-regime uprising turned five months old, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said snipers shot dead an elderly man in the provincial town of Hula and reported another two killings in Latakia.

"The community of Hula is under siege ... The army is carrying out raids and arrests under the cover of heavy gunfire" in Homs province, said the Britain-based rights group.

Another rights monitoring group said "a large number of tanks entered Hula this morning."

"Security agents encircled all the entrances to Hula and they started shooting to terrify local residents. Then the army went in to make raids and arrests," said the Observatory.

The operation came a day after gunboats joined the pounding of the port city of Latakia that killed as many as 26 people, in the first attack from the sea since Syria's anti-regime revolt erupted on March 15, according to activists.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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