Syria: Gunmen kill 11 state workers
Beirut: Gunmen killed 11 workers at a state-owned fertilizer factory in a volatile central Syrian province, activists said on Friday, the second execution-style shooting reported in Syria in less than a week.
The shooting near the town of Qusair in Homs province occurred Thursday as the workers were on their way to their jobs in a bus that came under fire, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
A pro-government Facebook page, the Homs News Network, posted photos of 11 men on the floor of what appeared to be a classroom. It blamed the rebel Free Syrian Army, saying the workers were killed for being state employees. The opposition blamed the government.
Syria has grown increasingly chaotic in recent months, possibly spiralling toward civil war, making it difficult to determine responsibility for much of the bloodshed.
The government restricts journalists from moving freely, making it nearly impossible to independently verify accounts from either side.
Yesterday, 13 bound corpses, many apparently shot execution-style, were found in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour near the Iraqi border.
The men were believed to be workers for an oil company. It was unclear who killed them.
The uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began in March last year with largely peaceful protests calling for reform. A fierce government crackdown prompted many in the opposition take up arms, transforming the conflict into an insurgency.