Middle East

Syria rebels kill 14 in Hama village: activists

Residents of Syria's Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, south of Damascus, collect aid food on July 7, 2014. (AFP/Rami al-Sayed)

DAMASCUS: At least 14 people, among them women, were killed by Syrian rebels in the village of Khatab in central Hama province overnight, state media and activist group said Wednesday.

Syrian state television said rebels carried out a "massacre" that included women and children, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven men and seven women had been "executed" by rebel fighters.

"An armed terrorist group infiltrated the village of Khatab at dawn and committed a massacre among the civilian residents, killing 14 of them," state television said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said "14 residents of Khatab in the northwestern Hama countryside were killed, including seven (female) civilians, by rebel brigades."

The group said the rebels accused the residents of "collaboration with the criminal regime" of President Bashar Assad, and executed the 14, though there were no details on how.

Observatory director Rami Abdel-Rahman said the seven men were accused of working with the regime, though the village is majority Sunni.

More than 162,000 people have been killed since Syria's conflict began in March 2011.

It began when protesters took up arms after being fired on by government troops during peaceful anti-regime demonstrations.





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