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Syrian Forces Said To Renew Fighting Around Homs

A video grab shows Syrian army tanks stationed in the Qusur district of the flashpoint city of Homs in early April.
Syrian opposition activists are claiming that Syrian forces have pounded central districts of the city of Homs, with mortars and heavy machine-gun fire erupting four days after a shaky cease-fire came into force.

The reports of the April 15 fighting could not be independently verified due to heavy Syrian restrictions on reporting from that country.

Activists with the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said there was fighting overnight in the city of Aleppo.

The violence comes just one day after the United Nations Security Council approved deployment of an advance team of 30 unarmed observers to monitor the cease-fire, which took effect on April 12.

The endangered truce is an attmept to end the 13-month-old conflict between the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and antigovernment militants that has left some 10,000 people dead.

Assad has come under heavy criticism from the Arab League, the United States, and the European Union, all of which have curbed relations with Damascus in recent months.

His forces have been accused of deliberately targeting children and other innocents in their bloody campaign to stamp out the insurrection and Arab Spring-style protests that began in March 2011.

Based on reporting by dpa, Reuters, and AFP