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Watch: Scenes from Syria on first anniversary of uprising

Heavy fighting between government and rebel forces was reported in Hama and Homs yesterday.

THIS AP VIDEO shows scenes of violence witnessed in the cities of Homs and Hama yesterday, on the first anniversary of the uprising against the unpopular Assad regime.

News reports today suggest that rebels have managed to ignite a new front near the capital Damascas – the first sign of dissent there for weeks.

Government forces had turned their attentions to Homs and then Idlib in attempts to crush the Opposition. The UN believes that more than 7,500 people have been killed during President Bashar Assad’s violent crackdown on protests which began as part of the wider Arab Spring movement last March.

Although diplomatic efforts have failed to ease violence, UN envoy Kofi Annan today told the Security Council that he will continue his mission and return to Damascus for further talks with the regime.

“The first objective is for all of us to end the violence and human rights abuses and the killings and get unimpeded access for humanitarian access to the needy, and of course the all-important issue of political process that will lead to a democratic Syria,” Annan said.

He urged the council to “speak with one voice as we try to resolve the crisis”. Both Russia and China have used their veto powers against a resolution on Syria.

Back on the ground, the Local Co-Ordinating Committees of Syria said that 40 people were killed in violence across the country today, including six in the suburbs of Damascus, eight in Homs and seven in Deraa.

Activists said there were also clashes between troops and army defectors in the northern Idlib province.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Turkey is considering setting up a ‘buffer zone’ inside Syria to protect refugees fleeing their homes. Almost 15,000 Syrians have made their way into Turkey, with more than 1,000 arriving in the past week.

-Additional reporting by AP

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