BEIRUT Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad swept through a small farming village in central Syria this week, torching houses and shooting and stabbing residents in an attack that killed up to 106 people, including women and children, activists said Thursday.
The assault on Haswiyeh outside the city of Homs took place =Tuesday, but was only coming to light two days later as the scale of the killings became more apparent. The attacks appeared to have sectarian motives and bore a resemblance to the attack last May on the nearby village of Houla that killed 108 people and drew international condemnation of the Assad regime.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll in Haswiyeh at 106, and said some of the dead were “burnt inside their homes while other were killed with knives” and other weapons. It added that there are reports that “whole families were executed, one of them made up of 32 members.”
Youssef al-Homsi, an activist based in Homs, also said at least 100 people were killed in Haswiyeh. He sent The Associated Press via Skype a list of 100 names said to have been killed. In addition to whole families, the list included individual names of 15 women and 10 children.
Omar Idilbi of the Local Coordination Committees activist group put the death toll at 37, but said the figure was from Wednesday and that more bodies have been found since then.
It was not possible to confirm the activist reports because of severe reporting restrictions in Syria.