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Turkey Shuts Syrian Embassy As Homs Shelled

With the bloodshed reported continuing in Syria, Turkey has announced the closure of its Damascus embassy and recalled its ambassador.

The Foreign Ministry cited a deteriorating security situation in the neighboring country.

The move comes after the Turkish government last week called on all Turkish citizens in Syria to return home as soon as possible, and announced the closure of the consular section of its Damascus embassy.

Turkey's consulate in the northern city of Aleppo, however, is expected to remain open.

Turkey has taken a hard line during the past year over the bloody crackdown on Syrian opposition supporters, and has imposed a series of sanctions against the regime and called on President Bashar al-Assad to resign.

Thousands of refugees from the Syrian violence have sought shelter in Turkey.

Meanwhile, Syrian activists say government troops shelled rebel-held neighborhoods of the central city of Homs overnight.

Activists said at least five people were injured by mortar rounds, and the bombardment also set houses on fire.

Homs, Syria's third-largest city, has been a center of the uprising against Assad's regime.

Government forces overran the rebel-held Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs in early March, but have continued to face resistance in other districts.

The United Nations estimates more than 8,000 people have been killed since the uprising against Assad's regime began a year ago.

With AP, AFP ,and Reuters reporting