The death toll from a new surge of violence in Syrian flashpoints has risen to at least 33, activists said Wednesday, adding that among the dead are six children and teenagers and five army defectors.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement received in Nicosia that 28 civilians were killed on Tuesday by security force gunfire, in addition to the five defectors.
“Twenty-eight civilians were killed during search operations and indiscriminate firing from checkpoints manned by soldiers,” it said.
Among the dead were 11 people killed in the besieged central city of Homs, six in southern Daraa, six in northwestern Idlib, three in Deir Ezzor to the east and two in central Hama.
The Britain-based rights group had previously given a toll of 17 dead on Tuesday, including five boys in the flashpoint central province of Homs and a 12-year-old in the east.
The spike in deaths comes despite a growing chorus of international condemnation of the bloody crackdown on dissent by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday became the second leader of a neighbouring country to call on Assad to step down, following a similar call by Jordan’s King Abdullah II last week.
Later, the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee condemned the bloody response to pro-reform protests that have turned against Assad’s regime, with 122 voting for the resolution and 12 including Syria against.
The United Nations says more than 3,500 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the protests first broke out in mid-March.