Beirut: A powerful blast rocked the Syrian coastal city of Banias during the night, killing four people, while a six-year-old girl died in Damascus province, a monitoring group said today.
Confirming the development, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement, “A woman and three young men were killed in a powerful explosion in the south of Banias.”
It said the girl died in violence in the Shehab Eddin al-Ras area of Damascus province but gave no further details.
The Observatory also gave an updated toll of 37 people killed in unrest which swept parts of Syria on Monday, including 23 soldiers killed by military defectors at Rastan, a rebel-held city in restive Homs province in central Syria.
The bloodshed came despite a ceasefire brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan as part of a plan aimed at ending violence that has swept Syria since March 2011 when a revolt erupted against President Bashar al-Assad`s regime.
The attack on Rastan came after Syrian forces killed at least five people when they raided a Sunni farming village in Hama province, torching homes and looting shops in what appeared to be a sign of worsening relations among the country`s religious groups.
The Observatory and the LCC also claimed the government troops stormed the Damascus suburb of Qaboun where they conducted raids and deployed snipers on roofs of buildings.
The violence in the restive central Homs province and elsewhere around Syria is eroding Annan`s peace plan that many see as the last hope to calm the crisis.
Meanwhile, the EU has imposed another round of sanctions on Syria in a bid to increase pressure on the government.