Warnings from Syrian activists of a humanitarian catastrophe in Homs grew more desperate Thursday as government forces resumed shelling an opposition stronghold in the restive central city, where hundreds have died in a weeks-long siege.
Across the country, at least 16 people were killed in attacks by security forces in rebellious areas that included the Hama countryside in central Syria and the mountainous Jabal al-Zawiya region in the north. The Local Coordination Committees activist network said the overall number of Syrians killed was 40, but there was no immediate confirmation from other groups.
About 30 people, including two Western journalists, were killed in shelling on Wednesday — most of them in the rebel-held Baba Amr neighborhood which is the center of the resistance in the city. Homs has been under a fierce government attack for nearly three weeks.
Thousands of Syrians have died in the violence since March. A U.N. security panel, citing what it called a reliable source, said at least 500 children are among the dead.