May 8, 2011 / 8:31 PM / 8 years ago

Armed gang kill 10 Syrian civilians: state agency

AMMAN (Reuters) - An armed gang shot dead ten Syrian civilian workers on their way back from Lebanon in a bus ambush near the Syrian city of Homs Sunday, the official state news agency said.

The agency quoted a doctor at a hospital in Homs, where tank backed army units earlier stormed three districts to crush pro-democracy demonstrations, as saying the bodies bore the mark of bullets shot at close range into the head, chest stomach.

The authorities have blamed armed gangs backed by foreign powers for the violence during Syria’s seven week uprising against the authoritarian rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Human rights campaigners cast doubt about the incident near Homs, where army and security presence is heavy. They said scores of unarmed protestors had been killed by security forces in the city and no independent observers were allowed to verify official accounts.

Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis

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