Homs continues to burn for 20th dayhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/homs-continues-to-burn-for-20th-day/

Homs continues to burn for 20th day

Warnings from Syrian activists of a humanitarian catastrophe in Homs grew more desperate

Warnings from Syrian activists of a humanitarian catastrophe in Homs grew more desperate Thursday,as government forces continued to shell the city for the twentieth day,where hundreds have died.

About 30 people were killed in shelling on Wednesday. Homs-based activist Omar Shaker said intense barrages hit residential districts in Baba Amr again Thursday,but there was no immediate word on casualties. He said food,water and medical supplies are running dangerously low.

On Wednesday,shelling of Baba Amr killed American-born veteran war correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik. They were among a group of journalists who had crossed into Syria illegally and were sharing accommodations with activists.

A Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman offered condolences to the families of Colvin and Ochlik but rejected any responsibility for their deaths. The spokesman urged foreign journalists to respect Syrian laws and not to sneak into the country. Some Syrians held protests and vigils Wednesday in several parts of Homs in commemoration of Colvin and Ochlik.

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A panel of UN human rights experts said Thursday that the United Nations has a secret list of top Syrian officials who could face investigation for crimes against humanity carried out by security forces. The UN experts indicated that the list goes as high as President Bashar Assad.

Experts say the list is likely to be more of a deterrent against further abuses than a direct threat,as Syria isn’t a member of the International Criminal Court,so its jurisdiction doesn’t apply there.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said nations were considering action against Syria in meetings on the sidelines of an international conference in London.