Mutiny in Homs prison as 550 killed within 48 hours
A mutiny is underway in the central prison of Homs, said an opposition activist Saturday. He fears "a massacre" in the facility by the regime forces. According to Hadi Abdullah, spokesman of the General Committee of the Syrian Revolution in Homs, the mutineers took last night the control of one of the wo buildings in the prison, after the defection of some of guards.
Tanks surrounded Saturday afternoon the building and security forces began to fire on it, said Abdullah. "I talked on the phone with a friend of mine who is in the prison. Four prisoners died before his eyes," he added.
According to Abdallah, "between 3000 and 5000 prisoners" are held in this building in deplorable conditions, as six prisoners share one small cell. Since the outbreak in March 2011 uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, tens of thousands of people were arrested in Syria.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army entered Saturday an area held by rebels in Aleppo, the most populous city in Syria. According to activists in Aleppo, hundreds of families have fled the fighting, after the army entered the district of Saladin, held for two days by rebels.
Clashes were also reported in al Sakhour, a poor and densely populated neighborhood of the city. The clashes in Aleppo open a new front for the forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
The residents of Damascus, for their part, described Saturday afternoon the city as relatively calm, despite some explosions and sporadic gunfire, after a night of bombing on certain areas by helicopters and tanks of the Syrian army, trying to quell the offensive rebel.
The president has not spoken in public since the attack on Wednesday, which have been killed including the defense minister and the brother of Bashar al Assad. The head of state did not attend the funeral of the victims Friday.
The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said Friday that 550 people were killed in 48 hours - the deadliest toll since the uprising began some 16 months ago.