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Activists Say Nusra Fighters Kill 20 Druze in Syria

  • VOA News

FILE - Members of al-Qaida's Nusra Front man a checkpoint in Idlib.

FILE - Members of al-Qaida's Nusra Front man a checkpoint in Idlib.

Al-Qaida-linked rebels killed 20 members of the Druze minority in a clash in northwestern Syria, activists said Thursday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors violence in the war-battered country, said the incident began Wednesday when fighters from the Nusra Front tried to seize the house of a villager in Qalb Lawzeh whom they accused of supporting the government.

During the altercation, villagers grabbed a gun from one of the Nusra fighters and shot at least one of them dead.

Syria's state-run SANA news agency said the militants committed a "massacre" of 30 people in the village in Idlib province.

The Druze are an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam that make up about 3 percent of Syria's population.

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