Activist group: 138 dead across Syria

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The group said it had unconfirmed reports that the dead were families that been killed by security forces while fleeing the city and called for an investigation.

The two accounts could not be immediately be reconciled, and the death tolls could not be independently verified.

Some of the worst fighting in Syria’s nearly one-year-long conflict has come in Homs, where residents have been bombarded by Syrian government forces for nearly four weeks.

Two western journalists were killed in government shelling in Homs last week, and two other journalists injured.

Poland said Monday its diplomats are working with U.S., British and French authorities to evacuate the two reporters — Edith Bouvier of France and Paul Conroy of Britain — as well as the bodies of American Marie Colvin and Frenchman Remi Ochlik, who were killed in the same attack.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy accused Syrian authorities of assassinating Colvin and Ochlik by targeting a makeshift media center where they were killed.

“When the Syrian army fires shells several times on a building that they perfectly well knew was a press center … it’s an assassination,” he said during an interview with RTL.

Syrian officials announced the results of a referendum on a new constitution held Sunday. Authorities lauded the new charter as a step toward political reform, but the U.S. and its allies have dismissed the vote as a “farce” meant to justify the regime’s bloody crackdown on dissent.

Syrian state TV said 89 percent of eligible voters approved the new document, while nine percent rejected it. It put turnout at 57 percent of Syria’s 14.9 million eligible voters.

Syria’s main opposition groups boycotted the vote, and violence elsewhere prevented polling.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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