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Violence claims 48 more deaths in Syria: group


The violence in Syria has claimed 48 more victims, including 18 soldiers and six army deserters, amid growing outrage following a "massacre" in the protest city of Homs, a rights group said Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had 24 hours earlier alerted the world to over 200 deaths overnight Friday during an assault by regime forces in the central flashpoint of Homs.

Most of the casualties later in the day were also civilians with 12 people killed and thirty injured in the Damascus suburb Daraya "when security ofrces opened fire on mourners at funerals of people killed the previous day in the same town," the Observatory's director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The army deaths and the deserters display the strength of feeling against the regime and its supporters.

"Security agents were deployed en masse in Daraya... They opened fire indiscriminately on the funerals leaving 12 dead and a great number injured," said Oussama al-Shami, member of the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), a protest group.

The LCC also called a two-day strike, while denouncing the Russian and Chinese vetoes at the UN on Saturday which prevented the Security Council from passing a resolution on Syria.

In Damascus itself two civilians died on Dmeir, and a baby was killed in Mouadamiye, according to the Syrian Observatory.

Six other people were shot dead in the town of Idleb, near the Turkish border, the organisation said.

Those who died during the day Saturday added to the toll in Homs, where militants said more than 230 civilians preished under bombardment from the Syrian regime forces overnight Friday.

The Syrian authorities denied there was any such attack on the central city, blaming "armed groups" for the violence.

The figures were difficult to independently confirm due to reporting restrictions imposed on the foreign media.

If the toll is correct it would make it the bloodiest day in Syria since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.