Syrian opposition blames regime for village deaths

  • Associated Press
  • May 3, 2013 - 2:10 AM

BEIRUT - Syria's main opposition group says President Bashar Assad's regime was behind an attack on a Sunni village near the Mediterranean coast that killed at least 50 people, according to activists.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian troops backed by pro-government gunmen swept into Bayda, a village outside the city of Banias, on Thursday. The group documented the names of at least 50 dead but says as many as 100 may have been killed.

The Syrian National Coalition on Friday denounced the Bayda killings as a "large-scale massacre," saying Assad's regime was behind it. The regime is dominated by the Alawite sect, a Shiite offshoot.

The Observatory cited witnesses outside the predominantly Sunni village saying women and children were among the dead. Dozens of villagers were still missing.

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