Syrian pro-government forces are being accused of having killed 78 people in a single village in Hama province, many of them women and children. Other reports talk of 100 dead or more.
Activists say that Qubair, about 20km north-west
of the city of Hama, had come under heavy bombardment from security
forces backed by tanks. They said much of the killing was done by
accompanying groups of pro-government militiamen known as shabiha, who
had come from nearby pro-government villages. The activists said they shot at close range and stabbed many
people, and that some of the bodies were later burnt in houses that were
set on fire.
Damascus denied a massacre, saying "terrorists" had killed nine people.
Neither account could be confirmed, but activists said 140
had been killed nationwide on Wednesday - one of the bloodiest days of
The news of the new massacre comes less than two weeks after 108 people were killed in a massacre in Houla.On Thursday, UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is expected to
urge the UN Security Council to create a new contact group to help end