Activists: Syrian rebel attack kills 60 Shiites

June 12, 2013

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian rebels have attacked a village in the country’s east, killing dozens of Shiites there, mostly pro-government fighters.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 60 died in Hatla village in the province of Deir el-Zour on Tuesday. An activist based in the province says the rebel attack was in retaliation for an earlier attack by Shiites from Hatla that killed four rebels. The activist, Thaer al-Deiry, who identified himself only by his nickname for fear of government retaliation, spoke via Skype on Wednesday.

The Observatory and al-Deiry say many Shiite villagers from Hatla were forced to flee to nearby Jafra. The clashes came a week after Syrian troops backed by Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah group captured the strategic town of Qusair near the Lebanese border.

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