Activists: Syrians ‘Massacred’ in Homs

    Two women hold the Syrian national flag in front of a fountain during a rally in support of President Bashar al-Assad in central Damascus on February 15, 2012. Syria's president decreed a vote on a new constitution this month, which would effectively end nearly 50 years of single party rule, state media said, as troops reportedly stormed centres of dissent. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

    Joseph Eid / AFP-Getty Images

    Syrian activists and opposition groups said 26 children and 21 women were “massacred” Monday by pro-government gunmen in the besieged city of Homs. State media confirmed the deaths of at least 12 people, but instead blamed “armed terrorists”—a term Bashar al-Assad’s regime has used to describe the opposition. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also confirmed a dozen deaths, while the Local Coordination Committees said 45 people were killed—both claimed the attacks were carried out by shabiha gunmen who have been involved in the yearlong crackdown against an opposition uprising. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be among ministers from 15 countries holding talks in a United Nations Security Council meeting, and Syria is expected to dominate the agenda.

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