AMMAN - Irregular forces loyal to Syria's Alawite President Bashar al-Assad fired on Sunday at a group of people guarding a mosque in Banias, two witnesses said, as ethnic tension intensified in the mostly Sunni coastal city.
The group, who were armed with sticks, were guarding the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq mosque at morning prayers when the Assad loyalists, known as "shabbiha", fired at them with automatic rifles from speeding cars. Five people were injured, including a 47-year-old man who was hit in the chest, the witnesses -- a doctor and a university professor -- told Reuters.
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