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65 found gunned down in Syria

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By The Washington Post
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 9:18 p.m.

The bodies of least at 65 people shot in a mass killing were found in Aleppo on Tuesday, according to opposition activists.

A video posted online showed many of the victims lying on the muddy banks of the Quweiq River in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of southwestern Aleppo with their hands bound.

Most appeared to have been shot in the head, and some of the victims appeared to be teenagers.

Bustan al-Qasr has been the site of heavy fighting in recent days as the Syrian military has orchestrated several attacks to retake the neighborhood from rebel control.

Opposition activists said it was not clear who carried out the mass killing, when it happened or why. Because the bodies were fished out of the river, it was possible that the victims were shot somewhere outside the city, they said.

Some activists said the killing was probably carried out by the Syrian military or the pro-government shabiha militia and surmised that the victims could have been political detainees.

In Washington, news of the massacre surfaced as President Obama pledged $155 million in humanitarian aid for Syria.

“We're under no illusions. The days ahead will continue to be very difficult,” Obama said in a statement. “But what's clear is that the regime continues to weaken and lose control of territory.”

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