[QODLink]
Middle East

Syrian forces 'kill children' near capital

Forces loyal to President Assad kill seven children during fighting for the town of Nabek near Damascus, activists say.

Last updated: 08 Dec 2013 19:07
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Images posted on social media showed the bloodied corpses of five children and said up to seven had been killed.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have killed seven children during fighting for the town of Nabek, north of the capital Damascus, activists said.

The fighting in Nabek pits Assad's army and allied militia against rebel factions including al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

Images posted on social media showed what activists said were the bloodied corpses of five children and said up to seven had been killed.

Some blamed a Shia militia for the killings, but this could not be confirmed. The rebels are mostly Sunni Muslims.

Nabek is 80 kms north of Damascus on Syria's north-south highway that links the capital to the central city of Homs and the coastal heartland of Assad's minority Alawite sect.

Fighting in the area intensified last month when the government launched an offensive to secure towns along the road. Fighters from the Lebanese Shia group, Hezbollah, joined in on the government side.

Pro-government forces shelled the eastern areas of Nabek and raided homes in western areas as clashes continued on Sunday.

The state news agency SANA made no mention of casualties, but said the army was carrying out operations in the area and had eliminated "armed terrorist groups" around Nabek. 

More than 120,000 people have been killed in the year-old conflict and efforts by divided world powers to end the violence have made little progress.

235

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.