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Syria Army Shelling Kills 6 Children In Herak, Activist Say

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SYRIA ARMY SHELLING
In this image made from amateur video released by the Ugarit News and accessed Monday, July 23, 2012, smoke rises from buildings in Homs, Syria. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video) | AP


AMMAN, July 24 (Reuters) - A Syrian army bombardment killed at least six children and four other civilians on Tuesday in the town of Herak on the southern Hauran Plain, opposition activists said, and a video showed mangled bodies laid out in a local hospital.

"Artillery and mortar rounds hit several residential streets in Herak. Most of the children who were killed were living on the same street," Shams al-Horani, one of the activists, told Reuters by phone from the city of Deraa, birthplace of the 16-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

"The army is shelling Herak, al-Nuiameh, Dael, Khirbat Ghazaleh and Old Deraa from the Malaab al-Baladi (football stadium) in Deraa," she added.

Opposition sources said Assad's forces had largely lost control of Deraa and the main population centres in Hauran, which stretches from the outskirts of the capital Damascus to the border with Jordan.

But the army has been heavily shelling the areas under rebel control for the last week and dozens of people, mostly civilians, have been killed, the sources said.

Video footage posted on the Internet showed the bodies of several children in Herak with holes in their legs, torso and head, and a dead woman on the floor of a hospital.

One young girl wearing a pink and blue top with stars and hearts on it lay on a doctor's table. Her legs were only attached to the rest of her body by skin.

Next to her lay another girl with a hole in her chest and two boys with gashes in their legs and head. One of the boys had a Popeye T-shirt on. All four were so small that they fit on a single doctor's table.

On the floor, in a pool of blood, lay a boy in a yellow T-shirt. Next to him a woman wearing a black veil lay dead. Her eyes had rolled up and a white bandage kept her jaw from dropping. At the woman's side lay the youngest, a baby girl with thin hair in a purple dress.

"We rely on God!" a man in the video shouted, blaming the killings on government artillery. "Children of Herak die in shelling daily," he added, saying the town had been bombarded for 10 days. (Additional reporing by Oliver Holmes and Mariam Karouny in Beirut; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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lebanon Hussein Ali Omar, 60, one of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims that Syrian rebels have been holding for three months in Syria, hugs his mother, right, upon arrival at his house in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, 2012. Syrian rebels freed Omar on Saturday in a move aimed at easing cross-border tensions after a wave of abductions of Syrian citizens in Lebanon. The Shiite pilgrims were abducted May 22 after crossing into Syria from Turkey on their way to Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)


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France24 correspondents Matthieu Mabin and Sofia Amara report from the front lines of a rebel offensive against the Syrian army in Damascus.

Watch the exclusive report in the video below.

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syria This image made from video and released by Shaam News Network and accessed Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, purports to show the funeral of children in Daraya, near Damascus, Syria. Syrian troops backed by tanks and helicopters broke into a Damascus suburb on Thursday following two days of shelling and intense clashes as part of a widening offensive by President Bashar Assad's forces to seize control of parts of the capital and surrounding areas from rebel fighters, activists said. At least 15 people were killed in the offensive on Daraya, only a few miles (kilometers) southwest of Damascus. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network SNN via AP video)


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Clashes between Assad supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime killed two people in Lebanon on Friday, the Associated Press reports. 17 people were injured.

The AP gives more context:

Syria was in virtual control of its smaller neighbor for many years, posting tens of thousands of troops in Lebanon, before withdrawing under pressure in 2005. Even without soldiers on the ground, Syria remains influential, and its civil war has stirred longstanding tensions that have lain under Lebanon's surface.

Read more on HuffPost World.

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lebanon A Sunni gunman fires a gun during clashes that erupted between pro and anti-Syrian regime gunmen in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. The latest round of fighting first erupted on Monday in northern Lebanon and at least 15 have been killed in Tripoli this week and more than 100 have been wounded in fighting that is a spillover from Syria's civil war. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)


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@ KenRoth : UN reports 200,000 #Syria refugees, 30,000 in past week alone. Many more internally displaced not counted. http://t.co/BaM6u59j

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syria Syrian boy Musataf Alhafiz, 11, who fled his home with his family due to fighting between the Syrian army and the rebels, carries his brother Saif, 9 months, while he and others take refuge at the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing, in hopes of entering one of the refugee camps in Turkey, near the Syrian town of Azaz, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. Thousands of Syrians who have been displaced by the country's civil war are struggling to find safe shelter while shelling and airstrikes by government forces continue. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)


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Helicopter gunships shelled Damascus on Wednesday as Syrian security forces intensified their assault on the capital. Activists report that at least 47 people were killed.

"The whole of Damascus is shaking with the sound of shelling," a woman in the neighborhood of Kfar Souseh told Reuters.

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@ jenanmoussa : Graphic. We saw in a mosque in #Syria these 4 children staring at dead body. Pic by @HaraldDoornbos: http://t.co/lgq8IAmO #warsucks @akhbar

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lebanon Lebanese commandos ride in an armored personnel carrier in preparation to enter the area of clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime, in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. The civil war in Syria is affecting its fragile, tiny neighbor Lebanon in countless ways and has already spilled over into sectarian street clashes, kidnappings and general government paralysis.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)


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Activists say that Syrian security forces swept through two districts in Damascus on Wednesday, killing at least 31 suspected opposition fighters. The Associated Press reports that the army may have been targeting rebel teams that had been using the Nahr Eishah and Kfar Soussa neighborhoods to shell a nearby military airport.

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@ AP : Russia says Western powers are "openly instigating" opposition groups in Syria: http://t.co/Il6rHsxr -SC

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