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Rebellious Baba Amr area in Syria's Homs largely under control: media reports

03-01-2012 08:54 BJT

DAMASCUS, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- Specialized authorities in Syria are still hunting down remnants of armed groups at restive Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs province, said private al-Ekhbaria TV Wednesday amid other reports by Syria's media claiming that the restive neighborhood is almost under Syrian army's control.

The Ekhbaria TV said many armed men were killed as others have turned themselves in to the authorities in Baba Amr.

Meanwhile, the Syria Now website cited what it called "security sources" as saying that army troops carried out mass cleansing operation in the restive neighborhood, adding that the soldiers are searching all the cellars and tunnels in Baba Amr in search of weapons and "terrorists."

"Baba Amr is living the last hours of fighting and cleansing the area completely is around the corner," the report said.

Baba Amr has emerged as the epicenter of armed confrontation between troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and armed rebels comprising partly of army defectors. Activists said the region has been under the army bombardment for nearly a month.

Activists said hundreds of people have been killed in Baba Amr since Feb. 4, when the Syrian army started its assault on "armed groups."

Earlier in the day, Syria's state-run SANA news agency said three gunmen were killed and others were wounded as they tried to cross from Lebanon into Homs, adding that a Syrian soldier was wounded in the clash.

On Tuesday, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) said that it had evacuated 30 people from Baba Amr.

In a statement carried by SANA, the SARC pointed out that its volunteers in Homs have been working around the clock since Friday in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross to evacuate the injured form Baba Arm neighborhood.

It added that humanitarian aid was also provided to other restive provinces such as Daraa, Hama, Homs, Deir al-Zour, and some suburbs of the capital such as Madaya and al-Zabadani.

Homs, Syria's third largest city and home to about 1 million, has witnessed severe clashes between troops loyal to Assad and militia groups.

The region is considered one of Syria's most volatile areas, as the daily grind of violence stocked fears that the central region has slid toward a civil war.

Syria's government said in December of last year that "armed terrorist groups" had killed more than 2,000 army and security personnel. The UN political chief B. Lynn Pascoe said Tuesday that "well over" 7,500 people have died in Syria violence.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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