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.

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AlexanderArgentina
Jan 18, 2013 9:34 AM CST
Sit-ins in Damascus, Aleppo and Hasaka to Express Solidarity with Aleppo University Martyrs DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Employees at the Ministry of Higher Education staged a mourning stand and lighted candles for the souls of the students of Aleppo University who were martyred in the terrorist attack on their first day of exams. The participants raised banners which denounced this coward terrorist act, stressing that it will not undermine the will of students to continue their educational attainment. Minister of Higher Education, Mohammad Yehya Moalla, said that the stand expresses solidarity with Aleppo University students and their families, adding that targeting universities and the educational institutions by the armed terrorist groups which have no religion or identity aims at suspending teaching and exams in the university. Minister Moalla noted that maintenance and rehabilitations works to rebuild what has been destroyed started on Wednesday, pointing out that the exams will be resumed in Aleppo University next Sunday. Rector of Damascus University, Mohammad Amer Mardini said that the university is ready to provide help to Aleppo University students regarding the exams and lectures. The Minister inspected the examination processes in a number of Damascus University faculties, stressing that university exams started on time at all Syrian universities and their branches, except for Aleppo University.
AlexanderArgentina
Jan 18, 2013 9:33 AM CST
Syrian Kurds, militants clash near Turkish border Reports say clashes have broken out between Syrian Kurds and militants near the Turkey-Syria border. The militants in three tanks crossed into Syria via the Turkish border on Thursday in an effort to take control of the town of Ras al-Ain. Foreign-sponsored militants have launched similar attacks on the border town, targeting Syria’s Kurdish population. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the turmoil that broke out in Syria nearly two years ago. Meanwhile, militants from the notorious Farouq brigades clashed with another group of militants in the northwestern province of Idlib as divisions between the armed groups worsen. The fighting was apparently in retaliation for the assassination of Tha’er al-Waqqas, a senior Farouq commander, in the northwestern town of Sarmada last year. Waqqas was reportedly linked to the killing of Firas al-Absi, a Saudi-born Syrian militant. Rivalries and conflicts among the militants fighting against the Syrian government have turned into a problem for the supporters of the armed groups. There are several armed groups with different causes fighting in the Arab country.
AlexanderArgentina
Jan 18, 2013 9:33 AM CST
Syrian Militants killed in bomb factory blast in Idlib A number of militants fighting against the Syrian government have been killed in a blast at a bomb making factory in the northwestern province of Idlib.