Monday February 27, 2012
- 62 refugees killed and dozens missing following attempt to flee Baba Amr
- Families taken last night at checkpoint, 62 men killed, desperate appeal for recovery of ‘dozens’ of women and children missing
- Regime kills 7 protesters in helicopter attack http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CZnvykD5zY&feature=youtu.be
- At least 21 killed and more than 40 injured in past 2 days by regime snipers in Bab Sibaa, Homs
- Dire humanitarian situation in many parts of Homs
- Clear map of Homs created: http://syriamap.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/homs_final_1111081.jpg
AT LEAST 62 men were killed and their wives and children taken while trying to flee the besieged neighbourhood of Baba Amr, Homs, last night.
They were all detained at the Alnaqeera checkpoint late last night “because they are from Baba Amr, this is their crime” according to one of several sources who confirmed the incident.
This morning residents discovered the men’s bodies dumped between two pro-Assad villages, Altanona and Marj Alqta. One of the men had survived, and attempted to seek refuge in one of the villages, only for the men of the village to hand him over to the security forces. The bodies were taken to the Homs National Hospital, and reports from reliable sources confirm that many of the men’s bodies showed clear signs of torture.
Relatives of the women and children taken in the attack have made a desperate appeal for their release. As of yet it is unclear exactly how many are missing or where they were taken.
An Avaaz citizen journalist from the area said: “Many families are trying to escape Baba Amr to the nearby neighbourhood of Jobar. Security forces are arresting all males over the age of 14.”
Jobar was taken by the Syrian Army last Thursday along with every remaining neighbourhood surrounding Baba Amr. The neighbourhoods surrounding Baba Amr had previously been shelled before they were taken by ground incursions. Al-Sultaniyeh, Insha’at, Jouret al-Arayess, and Tawzii al-Ajbari are now all firmly in the control of regime forces.
Heavy shelling took place in Baba Amr overnight. Activists have reported that the frequency of night-time shelling that took place last night was unprecedented. Residents of Baba Amr said shelling tends to be intermittent after nightfall, but over the past 24 hours there has been no reprieve for the besieged neighbourhood.
Baba Amr is being subjected to the 24th day of consecutive bombing by missiles and heavy artillery. Syrian Army tanks have been positioned at the outskirts of the neighbourhood, deploying in Tawzii al-Ajbari and Insha’at neighbourhoods and are relentlessly shelling from there. Telecommunications, internet, water and electricity supplies continue to be severed from the neighbourhood.
Activists have reported the deaths of 21 people in Baba Amr alone today. Some 7 names have been verified. The rest of the bodies are unidentified but activists have provided footage to back up the death toll. The number of injured civilians continues to climb amid a severe shortage of medical supplies and medical equipment.
Activists speaking to Avaaz from Al-Sultaniyeh today reported a dire humanitarian situation and severely limited capacity to deal with internal refugees amid severe shortages of food. Severe overcrowding has been reported as a result of those fleeing Baba Amr.
Footage of the shelling in Baba Amr:
Avaaz citizen journalist ‘Abu Rabea’ from Karam al-Zeytoun neighbourhood reported today: “All of Homs is under heavy bombardment today, and the city centre is once again being targeted, particularly the areas of al-Hamidiyeh, Bustan al-Diwan, the Old Clock, and police headquarters. Many monuments stood in that area and have been burned and destroyed. The shelling in the city centre has been seen as retribution for FSA attacks on Ba’ath Party headquarters.”
Four were killed in Karam Al-Zeytoun due to random shooting from the many checkpoints across the neighbourhood. Bab Sibaa also came under heavy fire today, with 21 civilians confirmed killed by sniper fire in the past 2 days alone. Mortar shells fell in al-Khaldiyeh causing several injuries and reliable sources confirmed that the FSA had stormed and taken the police headquarters in central Homs, and had hoisted the rebel flag on top of the building.
The city of al-Rastan, north of Homs, has been subject to heavy regime shelling. Al-Rastan is firmly in the control of the FSA and are locked in fierce battles with regime forces. Avaaz citizen journalist ‘Abu Yasser’ reported that the Syrian Army had begun a new offensive this afternoon in an attempt to re-take the city. Telecommunications, internet and electricity have been cut in the neighbourhood for over three weeks.
For more information please contact Will Davies on +447855419901 or firstname.lastname@example.org