Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rebels accused of attacking religious sites


Beirut: Rebels in Syria have burned and looted the religious sites of minorities, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday, as the longest and deadliest of the Arab Spring revolts becomes increasingly sectarian.

In the northern Idlib province, where rebels have taken swathes of territory from government forces, the New York-based rights group said opposition fighters destroyed a Shiite “hussainiya” — a religious site devoted to Hussain, a martyr in Shiite tradition.

A video published online showed rebels hoisting assault rifles in the air and cheering as the site in the village of Zarzour, taken by rebels in December, burned in the background. In the video, which Reuters cannot independently verify, one man announces the “destruction of the dens of the Shiites and Rafida,” a derogatory term used against Shiites.

Gulf News

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