Fighters from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front have reportedly killed 22 people, including women, children and elderly men, in an Alawite village in central Syria, a rights monitoring group said on Thursday.
The minority Alawite sect to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs “is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam whose members have increasingly been targeted by radical fighters among the Sunni Muslim-dominated opposition in the 2-1/2-year revolt against Assad,” Reuters reported.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is opposed to Assad, said the victims included seven women, three men over the age of 65, and four children under the age of 16, Reuters reported.
Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Observatory, said the victims were not members of any pro-Assad militias. They were shot in their homes.