In Syria, opposition reports ‘insane’ shelling
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 22, 2012 — Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
- “Hysteric shelling” hits Daret Azza in Aleppo province, the opposition says
- Thursday was one of the bloodiest days in the Syrian conflict
- Syria claims terrorists fired at Red Cross officials in Homs
(CNN) — Another town in Syria is enduring pounding brutality, with the opposition and the government blaming each other Friday for the bloodshed.
Daret Azza, located in Aleppo province, is under “heavy, insane and hysteric shelling by the regime’s artillery and helicopters,” the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.
Syrian state-run TV says “armed terrorist gangs” kidnapped “innocent civilians” and “desecrated their bodies,” an act it describes as a “barbaric massacre.” It said more than 25 people have been killed.
But another opposition group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said 26 people shot and killed in the area were members of a pro-government militia called the Shabiha, who are themselves blamed for killings of civilians.
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This comes after one of the bloodiest days in the 15 months of unrest. At least 128 people died on Thursday, the LCC said, with reports of massacres in two restive towns, Douma and Inkhel.
Violence persisted Friday in other parts of Syria as government forces shelled locations across the country, the LCC said. The group reported at least 37 deaths. Eleven of those deaths were in Aleppo province, it said, but it is unclear whether any of them occurred in Daret Azza.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said one of its teams tried to enter the old city of Homs, but gunfire in the area forced the team to turn back. The Syrian government said “armed terrorist groups” shot at the delegation, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said.
In recent weeks, violence has spiked in Syria, prompting the suspension of a U.N. mission tasked to monitor a cease-fire and the government’s adherence to a six-point peace plan.
Since the uprising began in March 2011, violence has killed more than 15,000 people in Syria, including 10,480 civilians, 3,715 soldiers and 830 defectors, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The United Nations has said that at least 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Syria consistently blames terrorists for the violence. Opposition groups say the violence began when a government crackdown on peaceful protesters generated a nationwide uprising.
CNN cannot confirm specific reports of violence in Syria because the government has restricted access to the country by international journalists.
CNN’s Saad Abedine contributed to this report.
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