Syria’s Body Count Rises

[media-credit name=”Reuters ” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]Residents recovered a total of 45 unidentified bodies in two towns on the outskirts of Damascus, a human rights group reported on Friday, while a blast outside a mosque the capital killed five security personnel and wounded several others, state television said.

At least 23 bodies, including those of women and children, were discovered in the eastern suburb of Zamalka on Thursday, while another 22 were found in Qatana in the countryside southeast of the capital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Zamalka has been a hotbed of anti-government protests, sparking repeated raids by the army and clashes with rebel fighters.

Opposition activists blamed pro-government forces for the killings in the town, accusing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime of a “new massacre.”

The Observatory also reported that two kidnapped brothers of a Syrian rebel commander were killed on Thursday.

The men were seized at an army checkpoint on Wednesday night, it said. They were found dead in the Qadam district of Damascus amid a sharp increase in reports of abductions across the country.

Amateur video posted on YouTube by activists showed the bodies of the two men, identified as Mohammed and Ahmed al-Zakh, covered in blood. The head of one of the victims had been partly blown off.

The Observatory said that nationwide a total of 131 people were killed on Thursday — 65 civilians, 24 rebels and 42 soldiers.

Read the rest at Al Arabiya

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