Attack on Syria village leaves 'dozens dead'Middle East
Government forces and militia members loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have stormed the coastal village of al-Baida, killing at least 50 people including women and children, Syrian opposition activists say, Aljazeera reported.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Thursday that the death toll would increase and could reach more than 100, with many of those killed appearing to have been "summarily executed" by shooting or stabbing.
There were reports that the raid came in response to rebels attacking a busload of pro-Assad fighters, known as shabiha, earlier in the day, killing at least six and wounding up to 20 more.
Government forces and shabiha were said to have surrounded al-Baida and nearby Maqreb, near the city of Baniyas, and unleashed mortar fire before raiding al-Baida.
Due to reporting restrictions in Syria, Al Jazeera cannot independently verify reports of violence.
The opposition Syrian National Coalition accused the Assad government of seeking revenge from the people of Baniyas because they were among the first to rise up in revolt in March 2011.
Syria's official SANA news agency said troops killed "terrorists", the regime term for the rebel fighters, and seized arms.