22 Apr 2013

Syrian forces believed to have killed at least 85

2:44 pm on 22 April 2013

Syrian forces and militiamen loyal to president Bashar al-Assad have been blamed for a "massacre" of at least 85 people, including women and children, in a Damascus suburb.

Both government and rebel sources have confirmed Syrian forces mounted a major offensive against Jdaidet al-Fadl, and both sources say government troops won the battle, Reuters reports.

Syrian authorities banned most independent media since the start of the uprising two years ago, so there has been no independent verification of the report.

But an activist told Reuters they had been able to document the identities of at least 80 of the people who died, and some activists say the death toll could be higher than 250.