DAMASCUS, June 29 (Xinhua) -- International humanitarian groups urged all parties to facilitate the humanitarian mission in Syria and called for more aid to Syrian refugees, amid persisting clashes that killed at least 21 people on Thursday.
Ahlam Imad, a famale university professor, and five of her family members, including three children, were killed when armed groups stormed her house on the outskirts of the central city of Homs Thursday. The government forces clashed with the armed men after the murder, killing 10 of them, state-run SANA news agency reported.
In the northwestern province of Idlib, two children, 10 and 12 years old respectively, were killed by the blast of an improvised explosive device at al-Makhbas area, said SANA, adding that two other children were injured along with a 21-year-old young woman. The official agency said the explosives had been planted by "terrorists."
Another six-year-old child was also killed on Thursday by a stray bullet of armed groups, which were shooting indiscriminately at the town of Azmarine in Idlib.
In the capital city of Damascus, a small pickup truck went off at the 30th street while two men were rigging it with explosives in the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, and witnesses said both men were killed.
Also in Damascus, a "terrorist" explosion ripped through the parking lot of the Justice Palace in al-Marjeh area, injuring three people and smashing 20 parked cars, state TV said.
On the opposition side, the activist network Local Coordination Committees, said that as many as 120 people were killed nationwide Thursday, with 42 of them killed around Damascus.
Another activist network, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, placed the death toll as more than 140. The Observatory said that Syrian troops have bombarded the Damascus' suburb of Douma and areas of the eastern Deir al-Zour province.
However, the activists' reports could not be independently checked.
As conflicts in Syria showed no sign of abating, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Thursday that the number of refugees fleeing Syria would reach 185,000 by the end of 2012 and urged the international community to step up its support for relief operations for refugees.
Currently, more than 96,000 Syrians are either registered or being assisted in neighboring countries, more than double the number in March, said Panos Moumtzis, UNHCR's Regional Coordinator for Syrian Refugees.
With more refugees running out from the conflict, the UNHCR and more than 40 humanitarian organizations have appealed for nearly 200 million U.S. dollars to assist Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Thursday.
These humanitarian groups originally put up an appeal in March for 84.1 million U.S. dollars to help these neighboring countries to accommodate Syrian refugees.
Meanwhile, a team from the Syrian Red Crescent and the International Red Cross, who tried to evacuate the injured and provide help for those in need, has been banned of getting into restive areas in the central province of Homs on Thursday, an official from the Red Crescent said.
The Red Crescent urged all parties to make the human life their first priority and to facilitate the humanitarian mission to alleviate the suffering off the more vulnerable classes.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent were granted permission from the Syrian government to have access to the troublesome areas in Homs, but the team's efforts were apparently hampered by the disagreements among the armed rebels in those areas.
Syrian foreign ministry on Thursday accused armed groups