Government troops killed 80 in Syrian town, opposition activists say

April 21, 2013 at 9:33 PM
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JDAIDET AL-FADL, Syria, April 21 (UPI) -- Government forces killed at least 80 people in a Syrian town and arrested those who tried to bury the dead, Syrian opposition activists said Sunday.

The residents of Jdaidet al-Fadl, which is south of Damascus, and activists said the soldiers waged a three-day campaign during which they and loyalist militias burned houses, arrested men, killed the injured and took over the field hospitals, The New York Times reported from Beirut, Lebanon.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group that uses a network of contacts in Syria to track the conflict, said the victims included 71 men -- 19 of whom were rebel fighters -- three children and six women.

Residents said the death count was much higher, and the Observatory said the total could reach 250. It would, however, be hard to identify and count the victims because the fighting hadn't stopped and because many bodies had been disfigured.

"They're just scattered limbs and charred bodies that are completely unrecognizable," said Shamel al-Jolani, an activist who lives in the area.

Internet video images posted by activists appeared to show a row of bodies wrapped in carpets or bags. Some seemed to have been shot in the face. Most of the victims were men, but there also seemed to be a few children, the Times said.

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