Dozens killed in Sunni area
By The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013, 10:03 p.m.
Syrian troops backed by pro-government gunmen swept into a Sunni village in the mountains near the Mediterranean coast on Thursday, killing dozens of people, including women and children, and torching homes, activists said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 50 people — and possibly as many as 100 — were killed in the violence in Bayda, a village outside the city of Banias. It cited witnesses who said some of the dead were killed with knives or blunt objects and that dozens of villagers were still missing.
Syria's civil war has largely split the country down religious lines, and the violence in Bayda appeared to have sectarian overtones. The village is primarily inhabited by Sunni Muslims, who dominate the country's rebel movement, while most of the surrounding villages are home to members of President Bashar Assad's Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
There was heavy fighting in Bayda that left at least six government troops dead and more than 20 wounded, Observatory director Rami Abdul-Rahman said. Regime troops backed by gunmen from nearby Alawite villages returned in the afternoon and eventually overran Bayda.
In the aftermath, telephone and Internet service to the village was cut and the area remained under regime control, making it impossible to verify the day's final death toll, Abdul-Rahman said.
With the conflict now in its third year, the sectarian divide in the country is worsening. There has been heavy fighting raging between Sunni and Shiite villages in the area of Qusair, near the Lebanese border. Islamic extremists who have joined the rebels have destroyed Christian liquor stores.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Oil slicks spotted in hunt for jet with 239 aboard
- Statue of Egypt pharoanic princess found in Luxor
- Russians adamant about vote
- Malaysia loses contact with plane carrying 239; 4 from U.S. aboard
- North Korea to deport Christian missionary
- China defends burgeoning military
- French Jews going to Israel
- 28 dead, 113 injured in knife attack at Chinese train station
- Russia sets Ukraine agenda with diplomacy, threats
- U.S. prepares $1B aid package for troubled Ukraine
- History may turn on a shilling