Syrian opposition: government shells Homs hours before UN arrives

Syrian opposition activists today said the government is shelling the city of Homs, hours before a group of unarmed UN monitors tasked with overseeing the cease-fire supposedly in place there are due to arrive in the restive country, reported CNN

At least three people were killed in the attacks, according to the Associated Press.

Opposition network Local Coordination Committees of Syria described bombs raining down on the besieged city, said CNN, while Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that bombardment “intensified this morning with an average of three shells a minute.”

The reports comes a day after the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of a group of unarmed observers to go to Syria in order to monitor the Syrian government’s promises to end the bloodshed.

The violence threatens to derail a fragile truce agreed to by embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad and the rebels as part of international mediator Kofi Annan’s peace plan, which is meant to end a year of violence that has left more than 9,000 Syrians dead in Assad’s brutal crackdown on a nonetheless swelling anti-government uprising there.

Annan spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told The Guardian that a group of six observers are expected to arrive in Syria tonight and will be “on the ground in blue helmets tomorrow,” a small group that he told the Associated Press “will be quickly augmented by up to 25 to 30 from the region and elsewhere.”

Activists said clashes had erupted elsewhere in Syria over the last several days. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 32 people have been killed since the cease-fire reportedly went into effect, according to SKY News

The Syrian government accuses “terrorists” of backing the unrest there but bars most foreign press from accessing the country, making reports hard to verify.

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