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23 killed as Syrian tanks fire at protesters

world Updated: Dec 27, 2011 01:18 IST

Reuters
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At least 23 people were killed as Syrian tank forces battled opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in Homs on Monday, residents said, ahead of a planned visit by Arab League monitors to verify whether he is ending a violent crackdown on unrest.

A day before observers were to have their first look at the city at the heart of a nine-month-old revolt, there was no sign of Assad carrying out a plan agreed with the League to halt an offensive against protests and start talks with the opposition.

Amateur video posted to the internet by activists showed three tanks in the streets next to apartment blocks in the Baba Amr district. One fired its machinegun and another appeared to be launch mortar rounds.

Gruesome video showed mangled bodies lying in pools of blood on a narrow street. “What’s happening is a slaughter,” said Fadi, a
Homs resident.