Syrian army destroys houses in 'collective punishment'

September 3, 2012 16:21

AMMAN - Syrian army bulldozers razed houses in western Damascus on Monday, pursuing what activists called collective punishment of Sunni Muslim areas hostile to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

In northern Syria, 18 bodies were found in the rubble of a house bombed by a Syrian warplane in the rebel-held town of al-Bab and 13 more are missing, an opposition watchdog group said.

Bulldozers backed by combat troops demolished buildings in the poor Tawahin district, near the Damascus-Beirut highway, activists and residents said.

"They started three hours ago. The bulldozers are bringing down shops and houses. The inhabitants are in the streets," said a woman who lives in a high-rise building overlooking the area.

Syrian authorities restrict independent media access, making it hard to verify accounts of the conflict from both sides.

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