Pro-government forces attacked the village of Al-Kubeir and the nearby village of Maazarif in Hama province in central Syria yesterday. More than 78 people, including women and children, were killed in the savage attacks.
Pro-government troops first shelled the area for five hours. Then militiamen, known as shabiha, entered the area, “killing and hacking everyone they could find.” Women and children were among those hacked to death with knives in their homes. Other bodies were burned.
Witnesses reported that “bodies were everywhere.” “Entire families were either shot or killed with sharp sticks and knives.” According to one villager, it was said that “the shabiha militiamen danced around their corpses, chanting songs praising Assad.”
United Nations observers attempting to reach the area were denied access and then were shot at with small arms. There were no casualties, but the observers pulled back after the incident.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told a General Assembly session that the attack was “shocking and sickening.” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attack as “simply unconscionable.” British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the massacre as “brutal and sickening” and called for “concerted action” from the international community.
The second attack in two weeks
A similar attack occurred less than two weeks ago in the town of Houla, where 90 people were killed by pro-government forces. The Syrian government denied responsibility for that attack also.
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