It is feared as many as 135 people were killed across Syria on Monday. According to some activist groups, 64 were members of families fleeing areas of Homs that have been under sustained attack from government forces for weeks.
The Red Cross says it entered the city, bringing medical equipment but efforts to evacuate wounded Western journalists have failed.
The unrest continues as the government announced almost 90 per cent of voters approved changes to the constitution in a referendum on Sunday.
Syrian Interior Minister Mohammad al-Shaar told reporters: “In provinces known as ‘hot provinces’, such as Homs, in some areas and some neighbourhoods, armed groups prevented people from getting to polling stations. But other neighbourhoods witnessed a lot of people heading to polling stations, and people voted there normally and without any obstacles.”
According to state television, turnout for the referendum was 57 per cent.
It was boycotted by opposition groups and activists who, along with the West, see the ballot as a cynical ploy by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power.