Syrian rebels kill 16 civilians
Anti-regime gunmen killed 16 civilians, mostly Alawis and Christians, in an attack on Tuesday at a housing compound for power company employees near Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"Armed men stormed the Jandar Residential Compound, firing indiscriminately and killing 16 Syrians, among them six Christians, six Alawis - including the compound director - and four Sunnis," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
Abdel Rahman said the Jandar Power Station employs Syrians, as well as foreigners, mainly from Iran and Japan, who live with their families at the compound in Jandar village, about 30 kilometers from the central Syrian city of Homs.
"The village and its surrounding areas are Sunni," he added.
Abdel Rahman did not give more details on the killings and did not call the deaths a massacre.
Rights watchdogs have expressed fears that the Syrian uprising - in which more than 21,000 people have been killed since March 2011 - is becoming increasingly sectarian and bitter.
Fundamentalist groups have clashed with increasingly embattled Syrian government forces, with both sides allegedly resorting to ever more vicious tactics.
Opposition figures have accused forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad of carrying out a series of massacres, including one in which dozens of people died in Houla in May.
Armed rebels have also carried out an increasingly brutal insurgency, with Human Rights Watch accusing them of numerous abuses.