Syrian troops shell central city of Homs



BEIRUT (AP) — An activists group says Syrian troops are intensely shelling a rebel-held neighborhood of the central city of Homs.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says a mortar round hits the neighborhood of Khaldiyeh every five minutes on Friday.

The group says sounds of explosions and cracks of gunfire are also being heard in the town of Qusair, near the border with Lebanon. It says regime forces are sending reinforcements to Qusair.

Western and Arab diplomats from the so-called “Friends of Syria” group met in Paris on Thursday. At the meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for the U.N. Security Council to adopt an arms embargo and other tough measures against Syria.

The U.N. says the country’s 13-month crisis has killed at least 9,000 people.