Assad forces accused of killing family of 13 in Syria

Sunday 21 July 2013 21.50
More than 100,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict
More than 100,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict

At least 13 members of the same family have been killed in Syria by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, according to activists.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four women and six children were among those killed in the Sunni Muslim coastal village of Baida.

Head of the Observatory Rami Abdelrahman said a relative had gone to look for the family today and found the men shot outside.

Mr Abdelrahman added: "The women and children's bodies were inside a room of the house and residents in the area said some of the bodies were burned."

In May, pro-Assad forces killed more than 50 residents of Baida and over 60 locals in the nearby town of Banias.

In those killings, some bodies, many of them children, were found burned and mutilated.

Baida is part of a small pocket of Sunni Muslims in the Mediterranean province of Tartous, a stronghold for Mr Assad's own minority Alawite sect.

The two-year-old uprising against four decades of Assad family rule has been led by Syria's Sunni majority.

Sectarian clashes and alleged massacres have become increasingly common in a conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people.

The killings in Baida come a day after a rare eruption of clashes was reported in the area between Mr Assad's forces and the rebels in the coastal enclave.

The British-based Observatory, which has a network of activists across Syria, said all the victims had been executed.

Keywords: syria