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14 bodies retrieved in drainage ditches in Syria's Homs

03-14-2012 09:02 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

DAMASCUS, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian civil defense forces on Tuesday retrieved the bodies of 14 unidentified people dumped in two drainage ditches in Ashira neighborhood in Syria's battered central Homs province, the pro-government Sham FM radio reported.

The report said the authorities were still searching for other bodies, but there was no immediate comments from officials or identifications of those bodies.

Some restive neighborhoods of Homs have spiraled largely out of the government control, but the army troops cracked down harshly on the neighborhood of Baba Amr for almost a month before recapturing it on March 1.

Homs, Syria's third largest city and home to about one million, has emerged as a battleground between troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and militia groups, comprising partly of army defectors. The region is considered one of Syria's most volatile areas, as the daily grind of violence stocked fears that the central region has slid toward a civil war.

Earlier in the day, the pro-government al-Watan daily said that more than 45 people had been massacred in Homs over the past 24 hours. The government and the opposition exchanged barbs over the bloody carnage that included women and children.

The paper said that army troops retook the northern Idlib city, another rebel's stronghold, in a swift operation. The troops set the city on a three-day siege. The city had been under the control of hundreds of rebel fighters known as the Free Syrian Army.

The Syrian government has accused some Arab and Western countries of providing weapons and financial support to the armed groups in Syria. It said in December 2011 that "armed terrorist groups" had killed more than 2,000 army and security personnel during the unrest.

However, the United Nations said recently that more than 7,500 people had died in Syria's year-long violence. In Geneva, the UN refugee agency said 230,000 Syrians have fled their homes since the beginning of domestic violence in Syria last March.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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