Assad Forces Fire Heavy Barrage in Syria's Homs, Two Dead

Syria activists says army firing on Sunni Muslim districts in Homs, killing at least two; Assad regime held referendum on new constitution on Sunday.

Syrian government troops fired heavy barrages of artillery and rockets on Monday into Sunni Muslim districts across Homs, where rebels have been holding out through weeks of bombardment, opposition activists said.

"Intense shelling started on Khalidiya, Ashira, Bayada, Baba Amro and the old city at dawn," activist Mohammad al-Homsi told Reuters from Homs.

Syria referendum - Reuters - February 26 2012
Reuters

“The army is firing from the main thoroughfares deep into alleyways and side streets. Initial reports indicate at least two people killed in the Souk area," he added.

The Assad regime held a referendum on a new constitution Sunday, a gesture by embattled President Bashar Assad to placate those seeking his ouster.

But the opposition deemed it an empty gesture and the West immediately dismissed the vote as a "sham."

Activist groups said at least 29 people were killed on Sunday, mostly in Homs. At least 89 were reported killed on Saturday alone, one day before the referendum.

Activists estimate close to 7,500 people have been killed in the 11 months since the Assad regime's brutal crackdown on dissent began.