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UNHCR condemns deadly attack in Homs on collective shelter

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UNHCR condemns deadly attack in Homs on collective shelter

8 March 2014

UNHCR learned this morning of an attack in Homs that has resulted in one death and others being wounded at a shelter in which scores of evacuees are being held.

The attack on the Al Andalus collective shelter - an abandoned school - occurred just after midnight local time, when mortars hit a wall. A local resident was killed, and some 10 people in the centre were wounded. All were hospitalized. UNHCR is awaiting further word on their conditions and those of others still in the shelter.

"We are taking this extremely seriously," said Amin Awad, UNHCR's Director for the Middle East and North Africa. "All parties to Syria's conflict have obligations under international law relating to the protection of people not involved in the conflict.

In early-mid February, UN staff and volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent assisted more than 1,400 people to leave the Old City of Homs during a three-day "humanitarian pause". However not everyone was able to leave, and 336 men and boys were kept behind at the Al Andalus centre for screening.

Information on the attack is still sparse. It is not fully clear at this stage whether the shelter was deliberately targeted and who the perpetrators were.