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Accounts of atrocities leave Syrians reluctant to go home

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Accounts of atrocities leave Syrians reluctant to go home


Pictures uploaded to a social media website are said to be of the funeral of a 13-year-old boy, killed in Syria by armed supporters of President Bashar al-Assad.

Mohammed Abdel Nasser died in clashes in the city of Hama yesterday – one of seven said to have been killed in protests across the country.

The footage is also said to show military reinforcements and tanks entering Al Rastan. As is usual in Syria, there is no way of checking if the footage is genuine.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the existence of such images, Syrian refugees in Turkey are reluctant to return home.

More than 10,000 are already in the country and the same number are said to be sheltering near the border.

One man, calling himself Sadik, said the Syrian army will have to leave before people will think about going back. “I saw what happened in Jisr-al-Shughour with my own eyes,” he said, “they have turned a sugar factory into a prison. They are literally skinning the men alive and raping the women.” Again, there is no way of checking if his claims are true.

Syria’s ambassador to Turkey has dismissed such claims as propaganda. He says the refugees will be given all the help and assurances they need to return home and live in dignity.

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