Syrian troops killed at least one civilian in overnight raids in the city of Homs, activists said on Monday, a day after the authorities held a "national dialogue" meeting boycotted by the opposition.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 20 people were injured as residents tried to take shelter from armoured vehicles firing machineguns on densely populated  neighbourhoods.

Residents said the raids were the heaviest since the military stormed the central city, Syria's third largest, two months ago to try to crush street protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

Syria has barred most independent media from operating inside the country, making it difficult to verify accounts of activists and authorities.

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Source: Reuters