The Freeland File
Global Market Data
Tales from the Trail
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Macro & Markets
Personal Finance Video
How climate change, urbanization are changing disaster aid
LONDON - Climate change and rapid urbanization play an ever-greater role in shaping humanitarian crises and aid agencies will need to invest more in disaster prevention and learn a trick or two from the private sector. according to an AlertNet poll. Full Article | Learn More
Business expertise tapped for smarter disaster aid
Emerging donors chip away at industry's status quo
Corruption in camps blight lives of Somali displaced
Factbox: New donors shake up humanitarian aid
U.S. outrage as Egypt bars Americans from leaving
26 Jan 2012
Romney puts Gingrich on defensive in Florida debate
Gingrich jab at debate moderator deflected
26 Jan 2012
Corruption scandal shakes Vatican as internal letters leaked
26 Jan 2012
Irishman makes "billion-euro home" of shredded notes
25 Jan 2012
Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization’s collapse
Abortion safer than giving birth: study
Romney reports tax bill of $6.2 million for 2010-11
Google at your own risk
Thu, Jan 26 2012
Angelina Jolie fascinated by "bizarre" Republican presidential race
Sun, Jan 22 2012
Bolivian coca growers want new road
Thu, Jan 26 2012
Sectarian attack kills 14 of same family in Syria
Syrian troops fight rebels near Damascus
Thu, Jan 26 2012
Gunfire, funerals and fear in Syria's protest center
Tue, Jan 24 2012
Syria denounces Arab League for telling Assad to quit
Mon, Jan 23 2012
Syrian blasts kill 14, Arab monitors may stay
Sat, Jan 21 2012
Syria ready to let monitors stay, rebel seeks U.N. action
Tue, Jan 17 2012
Analysis & Opinion
Syrian opposition leader seeks religious and minority union to counter Islamists
King Abdullah replaces head of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic religious police
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis
Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:49pm EST
AMMAN (Reuters) - Militiamen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad killed 14 members of a Sunni family in the city of Homs on Thursday in one of the grizzliest sectarian attacks in the ten-month uprising raging in the Alawite-dominated country, activists and residents said.
Eight children, aged eight months to nine years old were among 14 Bahader family members shot or hacked to death in a building in the mixed Karm al-Zeitoun neighborhood of Homs, 140-km (88 miles) north of Damascus, they said.
The militiamen, known as 'shabbiha', entered the district after loyalist forces fired heavy mortar rounds on the area, killing another 16 people, residents and activists in the city told Reuters by phone.
YouTube video footage taken by activists, which could not be independently verified, showed the bodies of five children with wounds to the head and neck in a house. The bodies of three women and one man were also shown.
There was no comment from the Syrian authorities, who severely restrict independent media access to the country.
"Alawites who had remained in Karm al-Zeitoun mysteriously left four days ago, and the rumor was that they did so on orders by the authorities. Today we know why," said a doctor in the district who did not want to be named.
"We also have seventy people wounded. Field hospitals themselves are coming under mortar fire," he said.
Hamza, an activist in Homs said that the attack was "pure revenge" for shabbiha members being killed by army defectors loosely grouped under the Free Syrian Army.
He said Sunni families were fleeing Karm al-Zeitoun to other parts of the city, and several Sunni neighborhoods, such as Bab Sbaa, also came under fire.
Tit-for-tat sectarian killings began in Homs four months ago, following armored military assaults on Sunni areas of the city by forces led by members of Assad's minority Alawite sect.
Mass killings have included Alawites in micro-buses on the way to their villages near Homs and Sunnis stopped at a roadblock while heading to work at a factory. Women from the two sects have been abducted and killed also, activists said.
The killings have raised the prospect of the pro-democracy protest movement against Assad turning into a civil war, as his opponents take up arms and fight back against loyalist forces cracking down on demonstrators.
The Alawite community, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, has dominated the political system and the security apparatus in Syria, a mostly Sunni country of 20 million people, for the last five decades.
Unlike most Syrian cities, Homs has a large proportion of Alawites who moved to the city to take up jobs in the public sector and the security apparatus as Assad's father, the late President Hafez al-Assad, shored up his power base by promoting members of his own community.
But thousands of Alawites, residents say, have left Homs for their home villages in the Alawite Mountains northwest of Homs following a spike in sectarian killings and kidnappings in the city of one million. Thousands of Sunni families have also left for other parts of Syria, and for Lebanon and Jordan.
The Revolution Council of Homs Province said in a statement that the attack on Karm al-Zeitoun "is a new tactic based on annihilating civilians to break the will the people."
(Editing by Louise Ireland)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Be the first to comment on reuters.com.
Add yours using the box above.
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Advertise With Us
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.