Reuters reports: The gunmen arrived shortly before dusk, some in uniform and some in plain clothes, before herding whole families into rooms and killing them in cold blood, according to survivors.
“They entered our homes … men wearing fatigues herding us like sheep in the room and started spraying bullets at us,” said an apparently injured woman in a video released by activists.
“My father died and my brother, my mother’s only son. Seven sisters were killed,” the woman said, lying next to another injured woman and near a baby with a chest wound.
The United Nations says 108 people were killed in the May 25 massacre, nearly half of them children, outraging a world long numbed by 14 months of relentless bloodshed since the start of a popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The events are disputed. The West blames Assad’s forces, while Syria accuses its opponents, whom it refers to as Islamist “terrorists”.
But video footage and accounts of activists, survivors, rights groups and United Nations observers in Syria, provide a harrowing narrative of the violence in the Houla region, about 20 km (13 miles) northwest of the city of Homs.
Crucially, the U.N. monitors say the evidence appears to contradict the government’s denial that its forces and allied militia were behind the slayings.
Activists and survivors said soldiers and pro-Assad “shabbiha” militiamen from the president’s minority Alawite sect carried out the onslaught on the Sunni Muslim villagers.