(CNN) — Gunfire and shelling rang out across Syria’s coastal city of Latakia early Tuesday amid reports of Palestinian refugees fleeing a restive and impoverished enclave there.
At least five people died on Tuesday, according to a resident who requested anonymity for safety reasons, and the city remained under siege amid a military offensive against protesters.
The humanitarian situation deteriorated amid the government’s offensive in the city. Shops and bakeries were closed, and at least two mosques were damaged. The gunfire could be heard “all night and morning,” the witness said.
“This is the fourth day that we do not have electricity or water. Landline phone connections have been down most of the day,” he said by satellite phone.
Snipers perched atop various locations in the city’s al-Ramel neighborhood, the site of a Palestinian refugee camp, he said.
Demonstrations have taken place in the Ramel area every day since the Syrian uprising began five months ago, the Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.