Syrian forces execute 20 unarmed men in Damascus: activists
AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian troops executed at least 20 unarmed men in the Damascus neighborhood of Mezzeh on Sunday who they suspected of aiding rebels in the area, opposition activists in the district said.
The bodies of 20 men, aged approximately 20 to 30, were collected from the neighborhoods of al-Ikhlas, al-Zayat, al Farouk, Hawakir al-Sabbarah and al-Basatin, several activists said by phone from Mezzeh.
"The bodies were taken to al-Mustafa Mosque. Most had bullet holes, one with as many as 18. Three had their hands tied behind their back. Some of the men were in their pajamas. Several had their legs broken or fingers missing. Others were stabbed with knifes," said Bashir al-Kheir, one of the activists.
Video footage and photos posted by activists on YouTube Facebook purportedly showed the bodies on the mosque floor. One bore what appeared to be torture marks on the stomach. Two men appeared to have had their throats slit.
Syrian authorities have banned most independent media from the country, making verification of events on the ground difficult.
(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey)