Activists: Syrian forces kill 11 villagers near Homs

November 2, 2011 16:24


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AMMAN - Syrian security forces shot dead at least 11 Sunni Muslim villagers they had stopped at a roadblock northwest of the central city of Homs, local activists said on Wednesday.

There was no independent confirmation of the killings, but they follow a report by an activist in Homs that nine Alawites had been dragged from a bus and killed near the city on Tuesday. Assad's Alawite sect dominates power in Sunni-majority Syria.

If confirmed, these would be among the worst incidences of sectarian violence since a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's rule erupted in March. Syria's stringent media curbs make it hard to verify accounts of bloodshed by both sides.

However, Omar Idlibi, a Syrian activist in exile in Beirut, said the circumstances of the bus incident were not clear. He said the shooting had occurred near a main army roadblock and that the victims included at least one Sunni and two Christians.

A YouTube video distributed by anti-Assad activists purportedly showed several bodies, gagged and with their hands tied behind their backs, near the Sunni village of Kfar Laha outside Homs, a hotbed of protests and a nascent insurgency.

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