At least 65 bodies found 'executed' in Syria river
The bodies of at least 65 young men, all executed with a single gunshot to the head or neck, were found on Tuesday in a river in Aleppo city, adding to the grim list of massacres committed during Syria's 22-month conflict. The gruesome discovery came as international envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi was scheduled to brief the United Nations Security Council in New York.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 65 bodies were found in the Quweiq River, which separates the Bustan al-Qasr district from Ansari in the south-west of the city, but that the toll could rise significantly. A Free Syrian Army officer at the scene, Captain Abu Sada, said at least 68 bodies had been recovered and that many more were still being dragged from the water, in a rebel-held area.
A senior government security source said many of the victims were from Bustan al-Qasr and had been reported kidnapped earlier. He accused "terrorists," the standard regime term for people fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, of the killings and spreading propaganda to deflect responsibility.
An AFP correspondent saw at least 15 bodies already on a truck, which Abu Sada said would be taken to a hospital for identification. Meanwhile, people were gathering at the bank seeking lost relatives. In video filmed by activists and published by the Observatory on YouTube, the cameraman walks along the river, less than two metres (yards) wide, and films some 50 bodies that have been pulled onto the concrete path. Elsewhere in Aleppo province, seven young children were among eight civilians killed in air strikes on the town of Safireh, the Observatory said, giving an initial toll of 37 people killed on Tuesday.