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Dublin: 19 °C Friday 31 October, 2014

Still no access to Baba Amr for Red Cross in Syria

Those suffering in the besieged neighbourhood in Homs have gone weeks without any humanitarian aid.

Graves are dug for Free Syrian Army fighters in Idlib. Activists say they can't be buried in graveyards as these are targets of government forces.
Graves are dug for Free Syrian Army fighters in Idlib. Activists say they can't be buried in graveyards as these are targets of government forces.
Image: Rodrigo Abd/AP/Press Association Images

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have still not been allowed to enter the Baba Amr district of Homs today.

For a second day since the Syrian government indicated it would grant the aid groups access to the struggling neighbourhood, they have failed to gain entry.

A convoy of seven trucks with food and other emergency aid have been deployed on Friday when Bashar Assad’s regime authorised the joint team’s entry to respond to the humanitarian need in Baba Amr in the central city of Homs.

The ICRC said on its Twitter account this afternoon that they remain in Homs and will attempt to bring aid into Baba Amr tomorrow.

Yesterday, ICRC president Jakob Kellenberger said it was “unacceptable” that the people of the district had gone weeks without any help.

Regime troops have reportedly told the groups that there are land mines and other booby traps dotted across the besieged neighbourhood and it is unsafe for them to enter.

According to new reports today, a fresh assault on Homs has been launched by government forces. The army insists it is fighting armed, terrorist gangs but activists say they are carrying out summary executions in attempts to crack down on dissent.

Since the uprising against the Assad regime broke out last March, at least 7,500 people have been killed and the threat of all-out civil war is increasing.

It is understood that all telephone and Internet lines are still down in Baba Amr.

Earlier today, authorities released the bodies of two foreign jounalists killed in shelling in the central city of Homs. The bodies of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik were handed over to diplomats from France and Poland. US interests in Syria are represented by Poland.

-Additional reporting by AP

More: Syria releases bodies of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik>

Watch: Wounded journalist tells of ‘indiscriminate massacre’ in Syria>

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