Syrian forces shell restive areas, killing five people

Arab World Materials 8 May 2012 12:34 (UTC +04:00)

Syrian security forces Tuesday shelled areas in the central provinces of Hama and Homs as well as regions near the capital, killing at least five people, activists said, DPA reported.

"Four people were killed in the shelling that targeted areas at the outskirts of Hama, while at least six people were wounded when shells fell on al-Rastan in Homs," activist Omar Homsi told dpa.

In areas at the outskirts of the capital Damascus, troops stormed the area of Doumeir, killing a man and arresting at least 20 others, activists reported.

The violence came a day after Syria held parliamentary elections, despite a boycott by the opposition.

Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud said the elections were intended "to challenge terrorism waged by other Arab and international powers against the country," the state-run news agency SANA reported.

Meanwhile, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said a team of 300 military observers will be deployed in Syria by June to oversee a peace plan by International envoy Kofi Annan aimed at to ending the violence in the country.

Annan is due to deliver a briefing Tuesday on the observer mission in Syria. Fifty UN observers are already in Syria to monitor a ceasefire which went into effect on April 12, as part of Annan's peace plan that also calls for access to humanitarian areas, withdrawal of heavy weapons from restive areas and talks between the government and the opposition.