Syria Strike Kills Dozens: Activists

As Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus for peace talks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 23, 2012 10:49 AM CST
Free Syrian Army fighters walk amid the ruins of a village situated a short distance from an area where fighting between rebels and government forces continues, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012.    (Virginie Nguyen Hoang)
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(Newser) – A government airstrike killed dozens of people today in a town near the central city of Hama, anti-regime activists in Syria said. The attack came as main international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was beginning talks in Damascus aimed at ending the civil war. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said "tens of people" were killed in a strike by a fighter jet on Halfaya today.

Amateur video released today shows people rushing toward a building an off-camera narrator says is a bakery. The bodies of about a dozen dead or seriously wounded people lie in the street, some in puddles of blood. It was unclear why Syrian forces targeted the town. Rebels have been clashing with government forces in recent days in the region around Halfaya, some 15 miles northwest of Hama, most notably in the village of Morek. Activists say rebels have taken over a number of regime checkpoints there as part of an effort to control the country's main north-south highway. (Read more Syria stories.)

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