News / Middle East

Sectarian Violence in Syria Kills at Least 30

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian pro-government protesters carry national flags along with pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a rally in support of the reform program in the border town of Quneitra, Syri
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian pro-government protesters carry national flags along with pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a rally in support of the reform program in the border town of Quneitra, Syri

Syrian rights activists say an outbreak of sectarian fighting between supporters and opponents of President Bashar al-Assad has killed about 30 people in the central city of Homs.

The activists say the fighting began late Saturday when the dismembered bodies of three government supporters were returned to relatives in Homs. The three Assad loyalists belonged to the president's minority Alawite sect and had been kidnapped several days earlier.

Rights activists and residents say government loyalists responded to the killings by going on a rampage in predominantly Sunni areas of Homs, torching and breaking into Sunni-owned shops.

They say shooting also erupted in the city, although the source of the fire was not clear. Residents complained that Syrian security forces did not intervene.

The reports cannot be independently verified as Syria does not allow foreign media to report and travel freely. The fighting comes amid a more than four-month-long anti-government uprising against Assad.

Six more bodies were found Sunday in Homs, where Syria's majority Sunnis live alongside Alawites and other religious minorities. Witnesses say the city was calm on Monday but the mood was tense.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdul-Rahman says the fighting in Homs is a "dangerous" development that undermines the uprising against Assad's 11-year autocratic rule.

Assad has sent Syrian security forces into towns and cities across the country to crush the uprising. Western powers have condemned the violent crackdown and imposed sanctions on Syrian leaders.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday the 27-nation EU could impose further sanctions on Mr. Assad's government.

The EU and the United States already have imposed asset freezes and travel bans on the Syrian president and his aides.

Also on Monday, Qatar announced it was closing its embassy in Syria and pulling out its ambassador in protest of the Syrian crackdown.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid