Fierce clashes as Syrian forces assault rebel bastion, activists claim

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Regime forces launched a fierce assault on the rebel bastion of Rastan in central Syria on Wednesday, raining shells on the town before launching a ground attack, a monitoring group and activists said.

There was no immediate word on possible casualties at Rastan, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said six people were killed Wednesday in other parts of violence-swept Syria.

Anti-government protesters attend the funeral of Mahmoud Sukaria, whom protesters said was killed by forces loyal to President Bashar Al Assad at Naher Aisha in Damascus on Monday.

The Observatory said Syrian troops were trying to infiltrate Rastan under the cover of heavy gunfire, shelling and rocket bombardment, adding that at one stage shells were falling at a rate of “one a minute”.

An activist reached via Skype told AFP that rebels of the Free Syrian Army are defending the entrances of the town, but that “regime forces are being strengthened with new deployments, including reinforcements from the revolutionary guard.”

Source: Gulf News 

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