Teenager among seven dead as troops open fire in Homs

Syrian soldiers opened fire in and around the rebellious city of Homs yesterday, killing seven people, including a teenager, as the UN secretary-general urged the world to take action on Syria.

The bodies of five unidentified people, including a woman, were found in the city centre, activists said. Condemning the violence, Ban Ki-moon delivered some of his strongest words yet, saying President Bashar al-Assad must take "bold and decisive measures before it's too late".

"It's already too late, in fact," Mr Ban said in New Zealand, where he was attending a meeting of Pacific leaders. "If it takes more and more days, then more people will be killed."

The UN says that 2,200 people have been killed since the Syrian uprising began in March, inspired by other revolutions sweeping the Arab world.

Nearly six months later, the unrest in Syria has descended into a bloody stalemate with neither side willing to back down.

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