At least 144 dead across Syria, activist group reports


Updating the increasingly grim death tolls coming out of Syria, The Associated Press reported late today that Syrian opposition activists put the one-day death toll for violence across the nation at 144, including 64 believed killed in a massacre at a checkpoint in Homs.

The violence in Syria has increased "in a significant way" over the past three days, particularly in Homs, Hama and Idlib, the head of the Arab League monitoring mission in the country told Al-Jazeera. 

More from GlobalPost: Homs: Red Cross begins evacuation of Syrian civilians 'without exception' (VIDEO)

"The situation at present, in terms of violence, does not help prepare the atmosphere…to get all sides to sit at the negotiating table," General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi said in a statement, Al Jazeera reported

The deaths were reported Monday by the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) one of the main activist groups in Syria, according to the AP. 

Sixty-four of those killed Monday were fleeing the area of Baba Amr, a rebel-held neighborhood in Homs, the LCC told the AP. Syrian government forces have been shelling the area for weeks.

"Reports said security members and thugs kidnapped the women among them," LCC said in a statement, CNN reported. Residents found 47 bodies in one area and 17 in a second area, according to the report. The Red Crescent Society brought the dead to the national hospital in Homs, according to CNN.  

The attack in Homs, as well as similar reports of ongoing violence, come just hours after the United Nations said it was unable to keep track of the death toll in Syria, which UN officials said had surpassed 5,000 over a month ago, according to Al-Jazeera.

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The Syrian Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross arrived in the province of Hama to offer aid on Monday, Simon Schorno, spokesman for the Red Cross, told CNN on Monday.

The aid workers were distributing a one-month supply of food, along with blankets and hygiene kits, to 12,000 people, Schorno said. The operation was conducted with the permission of the Syrian government and rebel groups. 

"If we're able to get in, we'll bring assistance, medical assistance, medical equipment, and we'll take out, as we did last Friday, the wounded people, those that are in the most serious conditions, for them to be treated…outside Baba Amr," Beatrice Megevand-Roggo, the Red Cross' head of operations for the near and Middle East, told CNN Monday. 

The latest violence comes as Syria passed a new constitution in a referendum yesterday, which has received wide approval from Syrian voters. 

More from GlobalPost: Syria: 89.4 percent of voters approve new constitution

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