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Syrian rebels kill 10 women in Hama province

Syrian rebels killed 10 women in the central province of Hama on Sunday, the official SANA news agency reported.

Armed "terrorist" groups committed the killing in Ma'an town in the northern countryside of Hama, SANA said, adding that the rebels attacked the town and committed acts of arson, murder and property destruction.

Meanwhile, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said radical battalions took control over Ma'an and killed 25 people of the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam which the ruling elite in Syria belongs to.

The Observatory said government troops evacuated the civilians from the village ahead of the rebels' attack, adding that most of those killed are members of the pro-government paramilitary National Defense Forces.

Also in Hama, 12 fighters of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front were killed in clashes against the government troops in different parts of the countryside.

The country's nearly three-year-old conflict has taken a sectarian turn recently with al-Qaida-linked groups and other ultra-radical groups fighting to topple the administration of President Bashar al-Assad to establish an Islamic emirate.

[Source: Xinhua, Damascus, 09Feb14]

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