Syrian forces intensify assaults on rebel areas
Syrian security forces intensified Tuesday their attacks on rebel areas in the northern and the southern parts of the country, killing at least three people and arresting dozens, activists said dpa reported
The onslaught came just a day after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the UN General Assembly that President Bashar al-Assad was behind "crimes against humanity."
In Homs, shells rained down on the neighbourhood of Baba Amr, hitting a civilian car and killing three of its passengers, Omar Homsi, an activist based in al-Qusayr told dpa by satellite phone.
In the city of Hama, troops shelled the suburbs, wounding 10 people, activists said.
Activists in the southern province of Daraa, near the Syrian-Jordanian border, said troops had stormed a school and arrested more than 25 students for participating in an anti-government protest on Friday.
Meanwhile, in Zabadani, near the country's border with Lebanon, government forces regained control of the area following days of continued shelling.
The London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that troops also managed to free eight Iranian nationals who were kidnapped last month after they entered Zabadani.
On January 26, the Iranian Foreign Ministry had said a group of unidentified armed men had stopped a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims on a road from Damascus to the north-western city of Aleppo, abducting 11 Iranian men.
Meanwhile, an activist based near the capital Damascus, said Ahmad Saeed Habboush, a member of the Tunis-based Arab Human Rights Organization was killed by government forces in the capital. There were no further details.
On Monday UN Commissioner Pillay said her organization was preparing a case to refer al-Assad to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Addressing the UN assembly in New York, Pillay said the continued crackdown on pro-democracy activists was ordered with the complicity of government authorities "at the highest level."
Pillay said more than 5,400 people had been killed by December and more than 10,000 people injured, while an estimated 18,000 people had been detained by the authorities.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which regularly updates the number of casualties, says more than 7,200 people have died.