Feb. 27 - Night time protests in a village in the Syrian province of Homs as shelling continues. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Citizens gather for a night time protest in a village in the Syrian province of Homs. They say they have been bombed by an aircraft as part of President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on unrest. Some hold signs calling for help. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VILLAGER, ABDUL, SAYING: "We are suffering - it's slaughter and despair. Every day is a massacre in the streets -- they massacre women and children, there is no water, no electricity, no bread. People are suffering, everyone is suffering and we have only one demand -- that is for the regime to go." Villages in Homs province, along with Homs city itself have seen waves of assaults by Syrian government forces. Amateur video, which could not be independently verified by Reuters appears to show the relentless fight for Homs. Rights groups say as many as 7,000 people have been killed since protests began about a year ago. As Syrian artillery pummeled Homs, state television reported that just about 90 percent of voters approved a new constitution proposed by President Bashar al-Assad. Constitutional reforms are aimed at quelling the growing rebellion, but opponents and the West have the dismissed the reforms and the referendum as a sham. The Syrian government says about 2,000 members of the security forces have been killed by what it calls quote "armed terrorist groups". The outside world has proved powerless to halt the killing in Syria, where repression of initially peaceful protests has spawned an armed insurrection by army deserters under the banner of the Free Syria Army. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters