Massacre of over 100 reported in Syria's Homs

Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:54am EST
 
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By Oliver Holmes

BEIRUT (Reuters) - More than 100 people were shot, stabbed or possibly burned to death by government forces in the Syrian city of Homs, a monitoring group said on Thursday, and fierce fighting raged across the country.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said women and children were among the 106 people killed by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad forces who stormed Basatin al-Hasawiya, a poor district on the edge of Homs, on Tuesday.

The massacre in the central city came the same day twin explosions killed over 80 people at Aleppo's university in the north, according to the group.

Reuters cannot independently confirm reports due to reporting restrictions in Syria.

Syrian warplanes and troops pursued a countrywide offensive on Thursday, activists and state media said, bombing rebel-held areas and clashing with insurgents who have pushed into cities.

Government forces clashed on Thursday with insurgents in the cities of Deraa, Hama, Homs, Aleppo, Damascus and east of Deir al-Zor, the Observatory said. Only the coastal Assad strongholds of Latakia and Tartous were spared violence.

Opposition activists said 15 people, including 7 children, were killed when an air strike hit a family home in Husseiniyeh, a suburb on the outskirts of the capital.

They sent Reuters footage of people dragging the limp bodies of children out of the rubble.   Continued...

 
Smoke rises after what activists said were missiles fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Daraya in this picture provided by Shaam News Network January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Kenan Al-Derani/Shaam News Network/Handout