22 Jul 2013

Syrian forces accused of killing 13 family members in village

9:07 am on 22 July 2013

A Syrian group in London accuses forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad of killing 13 members of the same family in a village on the Syrian coast.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in London, said at least three men from the Fattouh family in Bayda were shot dead by government forces and militia.

Bayda is a village of Sunnis near the coastal city of Banias where some loyalists have been killed in recent clashes.

The group said women and children from the same family were then crowded into one room in a house, where they were all killed.

Some reports said they were burnt alive when the house was set on fire, others, that they were shot beforehand.

The BBC reports Bayda is in the coastal province of Tartus, an area where government supporters have been accused of trying to clear out Sunnis. Mr Assad is a member of the Alawite sect, a minority.