‘100 killed in new massacre in Syria’
Damascus, Jan 17: More than 100 civilians have been killed in a new "massacre" in Syria, a watchdog said today, as Russia slammed the United States for blaming deadly blasts at a university campus on the Damascus regime.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the deaths came when the army on Tuesday swept through farmlands north of Homs, where around 1,000 people had sought refuge from fighting ravaging the central city.
"The Syrian regime carried out a new massacre on Tuesday claiming 106 victims, including women and children," said the Britain-based watchdog which relies on a network of activists and medics on the ground.
Witnesses said several members of the same family were among those killed, some in fires that raged through their homes and others in cold blood, including 32 clan members shot dead.
Al-Watan newspaper, a mouthpiece of the government, reported army advances against "gunmen" the term used by the regime for insurgents in the area where the killings reportedly took place.
But militants on the ground quoted by the Observatory denied that rebels were present in the area, which is about five kilometres (three miles) from the Homs city centre.
Homs, dubbed "the capital of the revolution" by the rebels, is the largest and most strategic province in Syria, lying on key trade routes near the borders with Lebanon and Iraq, and with its southwestern areas not far from Damascus.
Troops and rebels have for months been battling to gain dominance in the city and the province, with many areas now under siege by regime forces.
The Observatory urged the UN to send a fact-finding team to probe the bloodshed.
The reported deaths were the latest to emerge from Syria, where twin blasts tore on Tuesday through an Aleppo campus while students were writing exams, killing at least 87 people.
No one claimed responsibility for the Aleppo blasts but the United States blamed government forces for the violence, suggesting they were caused by air strikes on university buildings. AFP
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST
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