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More than 100 killed in new ‘ Homs massacre’ in Syria

Damascus, Jan 18 (): The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday Syrian army attack killed more than 100 civilians, including children and women, on farmland on the outskirts of the central city of Homs.

The massacre took place on January 15, Tuesday when the Syrian Army swept through farmlands north of Homs where around 1,000 people had sought refuge from where shelling and fighting destroyed the central city. Reports say the assault lasted for 24 hours around Homs.

The activist group that reported the incident put the death toll at 106 people, and said some of the dead were “killed with knives and other weapons while others were burnt inside their homes”. It also added that “whole families were executed, one of them made up of 32 members.”

Youssef al-Homsi, an activist based in Homs said at least 100 people were killed, including dozens of women and children.

Another activist said it was not clear which group carried out the attack, but many houses had been burnt during the raid. It is impossible to confirm the reports by the activist group because of severe reporting restrictions in Syria.

Homs has witnessed some of the biggest anti-Assad protests in the beginning of the revolt and heavy bombardment demolished whole regions and thousands of people were killed as the army attacked rebels who moved into the city.

In April 2011, UN sent observers to Syria but after several attacks on their groups they left in August, complaining that both sides had chosen the path of war. The United Nations estimates at least 60,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict since unrest started in March 2011.

The main city Aleppo, in Syria’s north, had around 5 million residents before the civil war. But, many were forced to run away from their homes as brutal fighting erupted and the rebels took the eastern districts.