Opposition Reports New Massacre in Syria
Unconfirmed reports say more than 80 dead, including women and children
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2012 4:36 PM CDT
In this picture taken during a UN observer-organized media tour, a Syrian boy talks with UN observers during their visit to Hama city, central Syria, on May 3.   (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman)

(Newser) – Syrian opposition leaders say pro-government forces are responsible for another massacre on the scale of the one in Houla. Early reports say about 80 people were killed today in Hama province, with about half of the victims women and children, according to the BBC and Reuters. As in Houla, witnesses say most of the deaths came at the hands of militiamen known as shabiha who support Bashar al-Assad.

So far, there's no independent confirmation, although the BBC's Jim Muir notes that reports of the Houla killings emerged in much the same way. Witnesses say most of the victims in Hama were stabbed or shot at close range by the shabiha, after a round of government shelling. Opposition groups called for UN observers who are in the country to head to the region immediately.

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