Opposition groups in Syria reported that at least 32 people were killed on Tuesday, adding to a death toll that was estimated by the United Nations to be more than 5,000. The clashes came amid a backdrop of increasing sectarian tensions in Homs between the Sunni Muslim majority and the Alawite minority, a sect from which a majority of Assad’s leadership comes. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 19 people were killed by Assad’s security forces in the northern province of Idlib, near the Turkish border, while seven security forces were killed in retaliation for shooting antigovernment protesters earlier in the day. Five civilians were killed in Homs, which has been a central point of violence in the region.
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