BEIRUT: At least 15 people were killed by troops across Syria on Saturday, as the army cracked down on rebel strongholds, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
In the central province of Homs, five civilians were killed by gunfire and shelling by regime troops, including two in the rebel stronghold of Qusayr and a third elsewhere in the province.
The others were killed in the Khaldiyeh and Baba Amr districts of Homs city, where the Britain-based watchdog said troops have bombarded several neighbourhoods in an attempt to regain control.
Also in central Syria, two civilians were killed in the city of Hama in a dawn ambush by regime forces, and a third was killed when clashes broke out between troops and rebels elsewhere in Hama province.
In the town of Mahaja in the southern province of Daraa, the cradle of the revolt against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, shooting broke out as troops used tanks to storm the area.
Elsewhere in Daraa, one civilian was killed in gunfire in a raid by regime troops, while in northern Aleppo province, two people, including a rebel fighter, were killed.
Three civilians, including a child, were killed by sniper fire in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, the Observatory said, adding that fierce clashes broke out between troops and rebels in the city.
A man was also shot dead by sniper fire in the Damascus suburb of Douma, labeled a "disaster area" by local activists, who posted videos showing deserted streets littered with debris from shelled buildings.
"Residents evacuated their homes due to the heavy shelling on peaceful residences," the narrator said, in a video posted to YouTube.