13 people killed as troops attack rebellious city

Government forces shot dead at least 13 civilians yesterday in a continued military assault on the restive city of Homs.

The onslaught has prompted Qatar's Prime Minister to call for Arab states to meet on Saturday to consider Syria's failure to implement a deal struck with the Arab League to end the bloodshed triggered by the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Egypt's officials MENA news agency said the gathering would address the violence and "the government's failure to stick to its obligations under the Arab Action Plan to solve the crisis in Syria".

Arab leaders have ramped up criticism of Mr Assad as killings have mounted, but shied away from demanding major political change in the country for fear chaos could ensue, given Syria's volatile sectarian divisions.

Most of yesterday's deaths were in Homs, north of Damascus, where a main district has been under tank bombardment since Tuesday, the day before Syrian officials agreed in Cairo to the Arab League initiative. REUTERS