Damaged houses are seen in Karm Al Zaytoon, a neighbourhood of Homs
The Syrian army is 'cleaning up' Baba Amr in Homs but still refuses to allow aid groups in Reuters

The Syrian army is continuing its sweep through the subjugated Baba Amr district of Homs with reports leaking out of civilians raped and up to 1,200 people arrested, activists have said.

The army is firmly in control after a "tactical withdrawal" by rebels but was still refusing to allow access to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Up to 3,000 residents are thought to still be trapped.

"The fighting and shelling has now stopped in Baba Amr but there are about 6,000 soldiers occupying the district", Sami Ibrahim, a Syrian activist for the Syrian Network for Human Rights who isin Homs, told IBTimes UK.

"The army is not allowing aid groups to enter the area. The soldiers are cleaning up and washing the streets. They want to remove as much evidence as they can before they allow organisations in."

The state news agency, Sana, said: the authorities were cleaning up the "destruction and debris left by the armed terrorist groups".

"The repair and maintenance teams started rehabilitating roads and service institutions and removed the roadblocks set by the terrorists in the area," it said.

"In Baba Amr, the authorities discovered other caches and dens which the armed terrorist groups resorted to in their operations against the civilian residents."

The Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent have started distributing food in Abel, a village about 3km from Homs.

Aid workers were trying to reach the al-Insha'at and al-Tawzee neighborhoods of Homs where many refugees from Bab Amr escaped to.

Ibrahim said that residents still faced up to 20 hours a day without electricity and water.

"People use rain or snow water. We have seen many children drinking unsanitary water, increasing risks of them contracting deceases," said Ibrahim.

New videos emerging from Homs suggest the army has executed more than 20 people after taking control of Homs. Many of the bodies bear traces of torture.

"This is not new - it started as soon as the army launched the ground assault. We recover bodies near the district on a daily basis. They are also raping the women in Baba Amr. They take them to a government building, gather them and then rape them.

"They have arrested up to 1,200 people. They have taken them to a government building. It is impossible to know what is happening to them," Ibrahim added.