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Deraa targeted as Syria crackdown intensifies

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Deraa targeted as Syria crackdown intensifies

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As violence in Syria intensifies the conflict there is looking increasingly like a civil war. Among the latest videos to emerge from the country are images apparently showing rebels firing on government forces in Homs.

In recent weeks the army has stepped up its campaign against the opposition, reportedly shelling urban areas held by the insurgents.

The UN says almost 5,500 people have been killed in the year-long uprising. It is not clear how many have died in this latest upsurge.

The crackdown has also targeted Deraa, the city where the anti-government forces first erupted. Residents reported an unrelenting bombardment in the past two days.

Damascus says many of those killed are members of the security forces. It has offered a referendum later this month paving the way for a multi-party democracy. However, with no sign of an end to the bloodshed, the opposition has dismissed the proposal as another false promise.