106 Dead in New Syria Massacre

Burned bodies point to pro-Assad militia
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2013 7:00 AM CST
In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, smoke rises from buildings due to heavy shelling in Latakia,...   (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

(Newser) – Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appear to have carried out another massacre, killing 106 people in Homs this week, reports Reuters. While it is unclear whether the killings were done by the Syrian military or a militia loyal to Assad, activists pointed out Homs has been the center of some of the biggest revolts against the ruling regime. "Assad's forces punish civilians for allowing the rebels to enter the area," said one opposition activist.

The bodies of some of the victims had reportedly been burned, indicating the attack could have been carried out by the pro-Assad shabbiha militia, a group composed largely of members of Assad's minority Alawite sect. The latest massacre report comes just days after the Syrian military was accused of using chemical weapons on rebels in Homs in December. Another 80 people, mostly students, were killed at the University of Aleppo on Tuesday. (Read more Syria stories.)

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