Middle East

Syria rebels, regime trade accusations of 'massacre'

A man holds his child after he was pulled out from under the rubble at a site hit by what activists say was an air strike in Daiaat Al-Ansari neighborhood, Aleppo March 30, 2013. REUTERS/Ziad Rev

BEIRUT: The Syrian regime and rebel opposition forces on Sunday traded accusations of blame for a "massacre" of at least 10 people in the town of Tal Kalakh in the south of the conflict-ridden country.

"Last night, terrorists committed a new massacre against peaceful citizens in the city of Tal Kalakh in the Homs countryside, storming the Burj neighbourhood and killing a number of citizens, including women and children," state news agency SANA reported.

The agency said "terrorists," the term by which the Damascus regime and official media refer to rebel forces, had also looted homes and shops.

"An official source said that the terrorist group stormed the Burj neighbourhood and killed 10 people, most of them children and women, before one of the units from our armed forces intervened," the agency added.

Activists pointed the finger of blame at government forces.

"The bodies of 11 people, including eight women, were recovered after they were executed during a raid by regime forces in the Burj neighbourhood of Tal Kalakh today, according to activists in the area," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog said.

Tal Kalakh, near Syria's border with Lebanon, was among the first Syrian towns to rise up against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in 2011, and regime forces have laid siege to it several times.





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