Rebels: Syrian government massacred 100

Jan. 18, 2013 at 3:41 PM
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HOMS, Syria, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A BBC reporter visited a Syrian village Friday where activists reported a government massacre, finding "charred bodies."

Also Friday, rebels reported the killing of Yves Debay, a French correspondent. They said the Belgian-born journalist was shot in the head.

The Aleppo Media Center, which posted photographs of Debay's body and press card, said he was killed by a government sharpshooter although at least one activist told the BBC it was not clear the government was responsible.

In Haswiya, a village outside Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday the government or militants loyal to President Bashar Assad killed more than 100 people. The government said any killing was the work of rebel forces.

BBC Correspondent Lyse Doucette reported she was told by soldiers all bodies had been removed from the village. But she found corpses when she went there, describing a violent scene in one house.

"Three charred bodies lay sprawled just inside one house. A trail of blood stained the cement," she said. "In the kitchen, where china teacups sat neatly on a shelf, more than a dozen bullet casings were scattered across a floor smeared with blood. In another room, two more burnt corpses were curled up next to a broken bed."

While at least one woman confirmed soldiers' version of the killing when they could hear her, Doucette said she blamed the government later.

The observatory said those killed were Sunni Muslims.

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