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Sectarian killing reported in Syrian village

The bodies of the Syrian boys and young men in jeans and casual shirts were strewn along a blood-stained pavement,
dying apparently where they fell. Weeping women moved among the dead, and
one of them screamed, “Where are you, people of the village?”

In the Syrian civil war’s latest alleged mass killing, activists said yesterday that regime troops and gunmen from nearby Alawite areas beat, stabbed and shot at least 50 people in the Sunni Muslim village of Bayda.

The slayings highlighted in the starkest terms the sectarian overtones of a conflict that has already killed more than 70,000 people. Details of the killings came to light as the Obama administration said it was again weighing whether to arm the rebels.

Activists said fighting broke out in Bayda early Thursday and that at
least six government troops were killed. Syrian forces backed by Alawite gunmen known as shabiha from the surrounding area returned in the afternoon and stormed the village, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The gunmen torched homes and used knives, guns and blunt objects to kill people in the streets, the group said.

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