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Dozens of bodies found in Syrian city

Aleppo seen in the background where the bodies of dozens of apparently executed young men were found.

Aleppo seen in the background where the bodies of dozens of apparently executed young men were found.

DAMASCUS — The bodies of dozens of young men, all apparently summarily executed, have been found in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, rebels and activists say.

At least 56 bodies were found on the banks of the Quwaiq river in the western district of Bustan al-Qasr, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Most had their hands tied behind their backs and gunshot wounds to the head.

Video footage of the gruesome discovery was posted by activists on YouTube.

It showed a large number of bodies – a voice on the tape said there were 59 – strewn in and around the banks of the Quwaiq, which skirts the western side of Aleppo.

The bodies were caked in grey mud and showed signs of rigor mortis. There were also signs of blood having poured from many of the heads.

A captain in the rebel Free Syrian Army said some of those who had been killed were just teenagers.

He told the AFP news agency that many bodies were still in the water and the death toll might rise to 100.

“We don’t know who they are because there were no IDs on them,” said a volunteer who was loading bodies on to a lorry.

The district of Bustan al-Qasr has been hotly contested since fighting broke out in Aleppo last July.

Aleppo had largely been spared the conflict until that point.

Since July, the city has been more or less divided equally between government and rebel forces, with neither side apparently able to push the other out, despite constant clashes. (BBC)

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