activists and Syrian government forces clashed with each other in
al-Qubayr village in the country's northern Hama province, leading
to the death of at least 86 people, a media report said Thursday.
The toll figure was declared by Britain-based Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees, RIA
Novosti reported citing Al Jazeera.
The government, however, said nine people were killed by a
Both the opposition and the government have accused the other of
being responsible for the deaths.
The regime of President Bashar al-Assad denied any involvement in
the killings, and said "terrorists" were behind the massacre.
"What a few media have reported on what happened in al-Qubayr, in
the Hama region, is completely false," the government said on
official television, according to Al Arabiya.
"A terrorist group committed a heinous crime in the Hama region
which claimed nine victims. The reports by the media are
contributing to spilling the blood of Syrians," the statement
The latest incident comes just days after a similar massacre in
Houla district in which over 100 people died. Most of the victims
in that attack were killed in execution-style shootings, according
to the UN.
Syrian forces had been attacking al-Qubayr and the nearby village
of Maazarif with artillery, Al Arabiya said.
The US, at a Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul Wednesday,
called on members of the international community to introduce
separate sanctions against the al-Assad regime to step up pressure
on the country's leadership.