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Syrian forces continue shelling rebel stronghold

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"It's important that we get in today," Hassan said. "We are not about to give up."

Other areas in Homs, Syria's third-largest city with about 1 million people, came under heavy shelling Saturday, including areas where many of Baba Amr's residents had fled. The Local Coordination Committees activist network said mortars slammed into the districts of Khaldiyeh, Bab Sbaa and Khader.

Abu Hassan al-Homsi, a doctor at a makeshift clinic in Khaldiyeh district of Homs, said he treated a dozen people who were wounded, most lightly.

"This has become routine, the mortars start falling early in the morning," he said. Several homes were damaged from the morning shelling, which he described as steady but intermittent.

Another Khaldiyeh resident who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals said the district has been without water and heating fuel for a week, amid freezing temperatures.

"We are collecting rain and snow water, and cutting trees to burn to warm ourselves," he said.

In Damascus, Red Crescent officials handed over to embassy officials the bodies of two foreign journalists who were killed in shelling while trapped inside Baba Amr.

French Ambassador Eric Chevallier received the body of French photographer Remi Ochlik, and a Polish diplomat received the remains of American Marie Colvin. U.S. interests in Syria are represented by Poland.

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