Syrian forces kill 8 in sweep north of Homs

AMMAN - Syrian forces shot dead at least six villagers and two rebel soldiers in a sweep on the countryside north of the city of Homs on Monday, activists and residents said.
The assault on Houla, a collection of villages just north of Homs, which is 165 km (100 miles) north of Damascus, followed a large protest the night before demanding the removal of President Bashar Assad. Around 12 government soldiers manning rural checkpoints had defected, activists said.
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