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Despite agreement to end violence against civilians, Syrian army shell residential houses

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Syrian activists said that security forces shot dead at least 11 villagers at a roadblock near Homs on Wednesday
Syrian activists said that security forces shot dead at least 11 villagers at a roadblock near Homs on Wednesday

Al-Arabiya, Dubai, 3 Nov 2011 - Seven deaths were reported as the Syrian army shelled the Baba Amro neighborhood in the central city of Homs, the revolution council said on Thursday.

Thursday’s crackdown against civilians came despite Syria’s acceptance of an Arab League proposal to withdraw its armored vehicles from the streets and stop violence against protesters in a bid to end the country’s political crisis.
After Wednesday’s announcement, Qatar’s foreign minister, Hamad bin Jassim, urged Damascus to follow through with action on the ground amid concern that Syria is continuing its bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters despite international condemnation and previous promises of reform.

The Syrian opposition perceived the agreement with deep skepticism.

Najib al-Ghadban, a U.S.-based Syrian activist and member of the opposition Syrian National Council, said implementation of the initiative would mean the end of the regime and President Bashar Assad was not likely to let that happen.

“What happened today is an attempt to buy more time,” al-Ghadban told The Associated Press. “This regime is notorious for maneuvering and for giving promises and not implementing any of them.”

Meanwhile, the White House on Wednesday reiterated its call for Assad to step down, despite the Arab League announcement that Damascus had accepted its plan.

In the latest violence, machine-gun fire and explosions erupted inside a city at the heart of Syria’s uprising as activists reported two grisly attacks had killed at least 20 people in the past 24 hours.

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