Jan 24 - Residents of Homs are tired of the fighting between Syrian forces and defectors, which has disrupted city life. Michaela Cabrera reports.
Residents of Homs in Syria are weary. The city has seen some of the heaviest fighting in the 10-month old uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-assad. An industrial hub and Syria's third largest city -- Homs is home to Sunni Muslims, but counts a large Alawite minority and some Christians. Now- business is dead. The place is a battle zone, and people fear it is becoming divided along political and sectarian lines -- Assad's supporters on one side, and protesters on the other. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HOMS SHOP OWNER, ABU SHADI, SAYING: "Homs is in a mess and chaos, killing, stealing. People are dying. We closed our shops. Everyday, two or three or four get kidnapped, shame on them, we want to finish this, this is not a solution." There's also concern that the violence can only get worse, as army deserters hold up arms against government forces. Those are not afraid to talk, like this man, can only say so much. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED MAN WHO APPROACHED FOREIGN MEDIA IN HOMS' MAIN SQUARE SAYING: ''Something I cannot tell. Don't ask me about our president, don't ask me about him. He should know everything -- ask him what's happening in Syria. Ask him, don't ask me. (Reporter: And how is life for you now at the moment in this city?) My life? There is no life. There is no life.'' The UN says more than 5,000 people have been killed in the security crackdown. The regime says 2,000 of their men have been killed. A funeral for two soldiers and a policeman was held in Homs on Monday. Media were escorted to a military hospital where wounded soldiers are being treated. One of them said they faced indiscriminate firing. After 10 months of bloodshed, ordinary Syrians are wondering what has happened to their country. And if there is one thing they are not scared to say, it is that they are wishing only for peace and stability. Michaela Cabrera, Reuters.