At least 12 Syrian factory workers were killed today in the northern city of al-Qusayr when their bus was stopped at a checkpoint set up on the city’s outskirts. Rebels say that the checkpoint was manned by police, who tied them up and killed them.
Other local reports, however, say that the passengers were robbed and mutilated, apparently by bandits. The rebels provided no reason why the regime would execute 12 employees from one of their own state-run factories.
Other rebels claimed that the 12 civilians were killed “during the random bombardment of al-Qusayr by the Syrian forces, who are trying to reclaim the city.” Videos posted online showed signs that at least some of the 12 were shot at close range with small arms, once again throwing the “random shelling” story into doubt.
UN monitors have yet to weigh in on the Qusayr killings, beyond saying that both rebels and government spokesmen have confirmed the deaths, and that they differ on how the people died.