Death toll in attack on Syrian village is over 200: activists

AMMAN Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:15pm EDT

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AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian government forces killed more than 200 people, most of them civilians, in a village in the province of Hama on Thursday, opposition activists said.

The village of Taramseh was shelled by Syrian troops and later stormed by pro-government Shabbiha militia, they said. Several people in the village were killed by the shelling and more were shot later in the head, execution-style, they added.

Syrian television said three security personnel had been killed in fighting in Taramseh, and accused "armed terrorist groups" of committing a massacre there.

A statement by the Hama Revolutionary Council said: "More than 220 people fell today in Taramseh. They died from bombardment by tanks and helicopters, artillery shelling and summary executions."

Fadi Sameh, an opposition activist from Taramseh, said he had left the town before the reported massacre but was in touch with residents.

"It appears that Alawite militiamen from surrounding villages descended on Taramseh after its rebel defenders pulled out, and started killing the people. Whole houses have been destroyed and burned from the shelling.

"Every family in the town seems to have members killed. We have names of men, women and children from countless families," he said, adding that many of the bodies were taken to a local mosque.

Ahmed, an activist from the Union of Hama Revolutionaries said: "We have reports of more than 220 killed. So far, we have 20 victims recorded with names and 60 bodies at a mosque. There are more bodies in the fields, bodies in the rivers and in houses ... people were trying to flee from the time the shelling started and whole families were killed trying to escape."

The reports could not be independently confirmed. Syrian authorities severely restrict the activities of independent journalists.

If the accounts are accurate, the incident would be the worst of its kind in the rebellion against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad that began 16 months ago.

(Editing by Andrew Roche)

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Comments (7)
oxi wrote:
Reuters and the Western press:

If you cannot independtly verify, STOP reporting this nonsense!

Citing activists like they are legitimate is like quoting al qeada operatives, no differance!

The last massacre was done by the opposition to Syria after the facts came forth but the Western media hell bent on opposition to Assad because they are under orders will report anything that ‘activists’ say without even questioning them! What happened to journalistic ethics?

This reminds me of Kosovo and all of the lies and fabrications to justift action by the West ILLEGAL of their duties to intrnational laws and treaties!

Thank you Russia for standing up to this assault of international laws and treaties by the Western war mongers!

Jul 12, 2012 5:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Slammy wrote:
Sad, very, very sad and a possible prelude to more defections. Bashar Al Assad, or whoever is running Syria, just does not get it and that’s why I think he/they either have undiagnosed aspergers or are just really, really stupid….
To the rebels, Do not quit, do not be intimidated, keep fighting and put that low life idiotic womanizer in his place… Go Sunni!

Jul 12, 2012 5:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Slammy wrote:
@oxi, as for the last massacre, I saw the alleged claims that it was done by the rebels but the proof fell way short from what I saw. The United Nations and every eye witness i saw interviewed said it was the regimes citizen militias… Point me to something that says different by an independently verified source and I will reconsider my opinion.

We know the rebels do not have, or have very little, artillery. Any they do have is likely in northern Syria near the border or close to the few bases they captured. We know the regime has been shelling and firing mortars into these towns for weeks/months as the UN and independent press have confirmed this time and time again. It does not make sense to me that the rebels would start killing villagers after a lull in the shelling. What you are saying is, Hey guys, they quit shelling us, lets now go out and kill some of the women and children before they start back… that doesn’t make sense to me. However, if the rebels are doing this, one thing I am certain of, they will fast lose public support and be unable to operate with the help of the Sunni public. If that is true, this war will be over very soon as the rebels will be quickly driven out of every hiding spot. I just don’t believe they are causing this… the might be attacking Alawite towns in response and massacring Alawite’s, but fellow Sunni does not add up. The truth will come out one way or the other so please share anything you know that meets the strict reporting standards Reuters is failing to deliver. Until I see otherwise, Go Sunni!

Jul 12, 2012 5:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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