Syrian government blames rebels for Houla massacre

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Syrian government blames rebels for Houla massacre

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International outrage is mounting over a massacre in Syria that has left more than 100 people dead, many of them children.

Under pressure, the Syrian government has blamed rebels for the killings, which happened in the town of Houla in Homs province on Friday.

UN military and civilian observers counted more than 30 victims under the age of 10.

According to opposition activists, President Bashar al-Assad’s forces pounded Houla after demonstrations. However, on Sunday, the Syrian authorities said “terrorists” were
behind the deaths.

“We strongly deny the involvement of government forces in this massacre,” said Jihad Makdesi, a Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman.

“We condemn this terrorist massacre that targeted, in a clearly criminal way, Syria’s people, women, children and men.”

Activists say at least two more people were shot dead as protests broke out condemning the killings.

The US says Assad is ruling by “murder and fear” and it must come to an end.