On the day that the Syrian government said a referendum had been passed with nearly 90 percent approval from citizens, dozens of protesters were killed across the country, including 64 who were attempting to flee the embattled city of Homs. Opposition activists reported that 138 people had been killed, including the 64 in what was described as a “horrifying massacre” at a checkpoint outside Homs. The deaths vault the estimated death toll of the fighting in Syria over the last 12 months to more than 9,000. Ninety-eight people were said to have been killed in the Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr, where U.S. journalist Marie Colvin died last week.
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