Shelling hampers journalists' evacuation

2012-02-27 12:01

Beirut - Syrian forces on Monday resumed their shelling of restive areas in central Homs province, killing at least three people, as the Red Cross tried to evacuate wounded journalists from the area.

"Mortar shells fell on the devastated areas of Baba Amr and al-Khalidiyeh, killing three people among them a woman," Omar Homsi, a Syrian activist based in Homs, said.

Five people were wounded, he said.

Activists said the death toll reached 60 on Sunday, with most deaths reported in Homs.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Monday that it would attempt to enter Baba Amr to evacuate two journalists who were injured in shelling and others in need of help.

Appeal for help

"We will attempt to enter the area on Monday," ICRC spokesperson in Damascus Saleh Dabbikeh said.

British photo-journalist Paul Conroy and French reporter Edith Bouvier were wounded in the attack on Wednesday which killed US war correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik.

Conroy and Bouvier have appealed for help in videos posted on YouTube.

The results of a referendum on Syria's new constitution were meanwhile expected to be announced on Monday. State television reported a high voter turnout in Sunday's poll.

The new constitution would allow political parties other than the Baath party of President Bashar al-Assad, which has been in power since 1963.

Division within the Syrian National Council have come out in the open, after 20 of its members formed a splinter group, according to broadcaster Al Arabia.