Troops Rounding Up, Killing Civilians: Fleeing Syrians

UN leaders to visit country this week
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 5, 2012 11:14 AM CST
A man carries a Rocket Propelled Grenade in the al-Hamidiya neighborhood of the restive city of Homs on February 25, 2012.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Following the departure of rebel fighters from the Baba Amr neighborhood, Syrian troops and pro-government militias have taken to the streets, rampantly grabbing, torturing, and killing men and boys, fleeing people tell the BBC. One woman said 35 males had been rounded up near her home, and two soldiers slit the throat of her 12-year-old son. "They will slaughter them like sheep," said another resident. With supplies dwindling, many civilians are afraid to leave the area.

An army defector says troops were given the order to "shoot anything that moves. Civilian or military—you shot at it." Meanwhile:

  • The government continues to refuse the Red Cross access to Baba Amr, though it has been allowed into other areas of Homs, the Guardian reports.
  • But UN representatives are now due to visit the country. The organization's humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, will be there from Wednesday to Friday, and former secretary-general Kofi Annan plans to travel to Damascus on Saturday.
  • More than 1,000 refugees have entered Lebanon, and the country is expecting more.
  • Slain journalist Marie Colvin's remains will be sent to New York tomorrow.
(Read more Syria stories.)

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