"An army convoy was on its way to the region of Hama when it was attacked by the FSA," he said. "The army staged a counter-attack with the support of (pro-regime) reinforcements from (nearby) Alawi villages. The FSA resisted for an hour before it was defeated."
Separately, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that "dozens of rebel fighters" were among those killed.
|ABC(MSM) ADMITTS AND CITES NASSER ATTA A REPORTER |
WHO QUESTIONED A LOCAL DOCTOR IN VILLAGE OF TREMSEH SYRIA
WHERE MASSACRE OCCURRED,
AND THE DOCTOR SAID MOST DEAD WERE AL QAEDA TYPES,EXTREMIST
"Several dozen rebel fighters were among those killed," said the Observatory, adding that only around 40 of the more than 150 dead had been identified.
The account appears to conflict with earlier opposition claims that pro-regime militiamen had entered the village and slaughtered civilians, with claims of death tolls as high as 220.
The Revolution Leadership Council of Hama told Reuters that Traimseh was subjected to a barrage of heavy weapons fire before pro-government militiamen swept in and killed victims one by one.
The opposition Local Coordination Committees (LCC) also had a death toll of 220, while Syria's official news agency, SANA, said at least 50 civilians had been killed by "terrorists."
The SANA report said rebels went on a rampage and "exploded houses" before the Syrian army intervened, inflicting "huge losses" upon the rebels and forcing them to flee.
SANA also said the army had confiscated "Israeli-made machine guns," while Syrian state television said three security personnel had been killed in the fighting.
Neither account could be independently verified due to tight media restrictions in Syria, and the deteriorating security situation for journalists.
International mediator Kofi Annan said he was "appalled" by the killings, as fighting continues to undermine UN peace efforts to resolve the crisis.
"I am shocked and appalled by news coming out of the village of Traimseh, near Hama, of intense fighting, significant casualties, and the confirmed use of heavy weaponry such as artillery, tanks and helicopters," Annan said.
"This is in violation of the government's undertaking to cease the use of heavy weapons in population centers and its commitment to the six-point plan," he added.
Annan, in a letter to the UN Security Council, urged the body to send a message that there would be consequences for non-compliance.
"UNSMIS stands ready to go in and seek verification of facts if and when there is a credible ceasefire," Major General Robert Mood, the head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, told a news conference in Damascus.
Syria has so far witnessed two mass killings since the crisis began in March 2011.
Seventy-eight people were shot or stabbed dead or burned alive in the village of Mazraat al-Qubeir on June 6, and 108 men, women, and children were massacred in the town of Houla on May 25. The regime and opposition traded blame over both massacres.
The killings come as a flurry of international diplomacy continues over the crisis, with Annan set to arrive in Moscow on Monday, a Russian foreign ministry source said.
Russia warned Western powers on Thursday it would block any renewed attempt to pass through a UN Security Council resolution authorizing military action or imposing sanctions.
(Al-Akhbar, Reuters, AFP)
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