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The Associated Press
Syrian army defectors, celebrate shortly after they defected and join the anti-Syrian rgime protesters at Khalidiya area in Homs province, central Syria, on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Syrian troops stormed a flashpoint suburb of Damascus on Thursday, rounding people up in house-to-house raids and clashing with army defectors, activists said, as the 10-month-old uprising inches ever closer to the capital. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT — Syrian activists say dozens of people have been killed in a day of relentless violence in the restive city of Homs.

Details about the bloodshed were only emerging Friday. Two activist groups said the death toll in Homs on Thursday was at least 35, but the reports could not be confirmed.

Witnesses on the ground told The Associated Press they were still gathering information but that the city was rocked by sectarian killings, gunfire and explosions for much of Thursday.

Many of the reported victims were inside a building in the Karm el-Zaytoun neighborhood. Activists say at least 22 civilians were killed in the building, including children.

The Syrian uprising began last March with largely peaceful anti-government protests, but it has grown increasingly militarized in recent months