Monday, June 13, 2011

Syrian Villagers Rounded Up After Brutal Raid - 13th June 2011

Syrian troops have rounded up hundreds of villagers surrounding a town they forcibly retook from protesters, according to reports.

Nearly 7,000 Syrians have fled the region around Jisr al Shughour to seek sanctuary in Turkey as President Bashar al Assad's military continue to crack down on anti-government uprisings.

The latest wave of arrests came after an army assault on the town which involve helicopters and tanks, one week after authorities said 120 security personnel were killed in fighting.

Some residents said the killings followed a mutiny, or a refusal by some troops to shoot on their own people who had joined nationwide demonstrations calling for Assad's downfall.

Thousands of residents of the town of 50,000 people, located on a vital road junction, fled to Turkey, about 12 miles away, before Sunday's assault, leaving much of the town deserted.

One person who escaped the town, called Khaled, said two mosques were hit by shells. Another said there were nine bodies in the town and seven on the outskirts.

Government troops reportedly removed 10 uniformed bodies from a mass grave in the town, close to a military police building.

Reports said four of the bodies had been decapitated or struck on the head with an axe.

People who fled for the Turkish border said about 60 mutineers were defending the town alongside some 200 unarmed residents.

Their fate is unknown, but the Government has reported three deaths in the fighting - one of its own soldiers and two unidentified men whose bodies were shown to reporters. Read More