Dozens of people were buried under the rubble after overnight shelling of a restive area in the Damascus suburbs, Syrian activists said on Tuesday.
The opposition Local Coordination Committees (LCC), which documents violence across Syria, said ``the dead included entire families who are still buried under rubble’’ in the area of Douma.
``So far, no one has managed to try to rescue anyone who might still be alive under the rubble, due to the continuous shelling,’’ activist Haytham al-Abdullah said.
The LCC said government forces also shelled the southern town of Tafas after dozens of army tanks entered the town, killing three people.
It accused ``security forces and thugs’’ of using children in Tafas as human shields on their tanks to prevent possible attacks by the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) while entering the village.
About 71 people were killed on Monday, mostly in Douma and Homs, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
News coming out of Syria cannot be independently verified because journalists are still banned by the authorities from entering restive areas.
Meanwhile, the head of the now suspended UN observer mission in Syria, Gen. Robert Mood, will brief the UN Security Council later Tuesday amid growing concern that the escalating violence might lead to the total failure of international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan to end the violence in Syria.
The three-month mandate of the observer mission, which was overseeing a supposed ceasefire in Syria, expires on July 20.
Annan's six-point plan calls for an immediate halt of fighting, withdrawal of heavy weaponry from residential areas and launching a political dialogue between the government and the opposition.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met on the sidelines of the G20 Economic Summit in Mexico late Monday, issued a joint call for a ceasefire to end the violence in Syria, saying they had found some common ground in ``candid’’ discussions. (dpa/NAN)