Sixty-five found executed in Syria's Aleppo: activists

Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:18am EST
 
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By Alexander Dziadosz and Oliver Holmes

BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least 65 people, apparently shot in the head, were found dead with their hands bound in a district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Tuesday, activists said.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which says it provides objective information about casualties on both sides of Syria's war from a network of monitors, said the death toll could rise as high as 80. It was not clear who had carried out the killings.

Opposition activists posted a video of a man filming at least 51 muddied male bodies alongside what they said was the Queiq River in the rebel-held Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo.

The bodies had gunshot wounds to their heads, and their hands were bound. Blood was seeping from their heads and some of them appeared to be young, possibly teenagers, and dressed in jeans, shirts and sneakers.

The Queiq River rises in Turkey and travels through government-held districts of Aleppo before it reaches Bustan al-Qasr.

"They were killed only because they are Muslims," said a bearded man in another video said to have been filmed in central Bustan al-Qasr after the bodies were removed from the river. A pickup truck with a pile of corpses was parked behind him.

It is hard for Reuters to verify such reports from inside Syria because of restrictions on independent media.

Government forces and rebels in Syria have both been accused by human rights groups of carrying out summary executions in the 22-month-old conflict, which has claimed more than 60,000 lives.   Continued...