Report: 131 killed by Syrian military

June 24, 2012 at 8:20 AM

DAMASCUS, Syria, June 24 (UPI) -- The Syrian military killed at least 131 dissenters and defecting police officers Saturday, opposition activists reported Sunday.

While international media is mostly banned since the uprising began in March 2011, opposition groups known as Local Coordination Committees assemble information and videos.

Reporting from Cairo, the group told Bikya Masr the Syrian army rained heavy artillery onto several cities and towns, with the highest death toll of 31 in Dair al-Zour. The seat of the insurgency, Homs, reported 20 fatalities, the report said.

In the capital of Damascus, 13 police officers who were suspected of defecting were executed and another 13 bodies were found in a suburb, the rebels said.

President Bashar al-Assad has ignored a myriad of international appeals to stop killing citizen dissidents and various estimates place the death toll as high as 15,000 in the 15 months of fighting.

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