- Rebels say government rocket attack on a house has killed 70 civilians
- Meanwhile, state news said the blast was caused by rebels and killed 16
- Dissidents also say security forces shot dead four civilians on a bus in Idlib
- Red Cross says volunteer shot dead and three injured in town of Douma
By Leon Watson
PUBLISHED: 04:15 EST, 26 April 2012 | UPDATED: 10:21 EST, 26 April 2012
Showing a man screaming for his life as he is buried alive at gunpoint, this could be the most shocking video yet to emerge from Syria.
While it is impossible to independently verify whether this short one-minute clip is genuine, it is still both powerful and disturbing.
A man is seen buried up to his neck and surrounded by a handful of soldiers allegedly loyal to President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime.
Scroll down for video (WARNING: Disturbing content)
As the unit’s commanding officer approaches, subtitles say: ‘Yes sir, we placed him in there as you have ordered.’
The officer asks: ‘What’s he got? Did you find anything with this damn animal?’
The helpless man, described as being from Al-Qussair, a rebel city in western Syria near Homs, is then accused of carrying a camera to capture footage Assad’s forces to send to television networks.
He is called an ‘animal’ several times and a ‘dog’ before the order is given to bury him.
The surrounding soldiers then shovel dirt over his head as the man cries ‘I bear witness that there is no god by Allah’.
As his head disappears from view under the ground, the soldiers taunt him saying: ‘Say that there’s no god but Bashar you animal.’
None of the soldiers’ faces are visible in the video and it is not clear who obtained it or how before the footage was posted on YouTube.
It is just the latest disturbing clip to emerge allegedly depicting atrocities in Syria since the rebellion began more than a year ago.
Earlier this month footage was released allegedly showing Syrian troops beating an anti-government rebel in the suburbs of the country’s capital, Damascus.
The mobile video, which came to light on April 8, has not yet been verified.
It shows a man lying face down on a dusty floor, his hands behind his back as three others – two of them wearing fatigues – stand on his neck and back, kicking him and hitting him with a small club.
Meanwhile, dissidents have claimed a massive explosion has killed 70 people in Hama. They said several houses in the Masha at-Tayyar district in southern Hama were destroyed by a big explosion.
However, Syria’s state news agency has said the blast was caused by anti-regime bomb-makers mishandling explosives and killed at least 16 people.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it is not sure what set off Wednesday’s explosion and asked U.N. monitors to investigate.
The Observatory had initially cited witnesses as saying the blast on Hama’s outskirts was caused by government shelling. Another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, also blamed the regime and said dozens were killed.
Amateur video posted online showed a ball of fire and smoke rising from the neighborhood and residents searching the rubble. The Observatory said Thursday that at least 16 were killed.
THE DAMAGE MORE THAN A YEAR OF CIVIL WAR HAS DONE TO SYRIA
Syria’s infrastructure has been significantly damaged in more than a year of conflict, water and electricity supplies have been disrupted and many families cannot meet their basic daily needs, a United Nations mission has found.
A confidential U.N. plan for responding to humanitarian needs, based on a joint assessment carried out with Syrian officials from March 18-26, was obtained by Reuters on Thursday.
The United Nations is preparing a major aid operation and its ‘Syria Response Plan’ forms the basis of a $180 million appeal presented to donor countries last Friday at closed-door talks in Geneva.
More than 9,000 people have been killed in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, who is under international pressure to honour a U.N.-backed ceasefire that went into force on April 12.
On Thursday, Syria blamed ‘terrorist’ bomb makers for an explosion that damaged a building and killed 16 people in the city of Hama, where hostility to Assad runs deep.
At least one million Syrians need humanitarian aid in the 10 provinces the U.N. team visited, most of which reported shortages of essential medicines and sharp rises in food prices, it said.
‘Jobs and livelihoods have been disrupted, the cost of … goods has risen and many can no longer meet their basic daily needs or access essential social services due to insecurity and financial strain,’ the document said.
Dissidents also said Syrian security forces shot dead four civilians on a bus in the northern province of Idlib on Wednesday, as international pressure built on Damascus to honour U.N.-backed ceasefire pledges to order soldiers and tanks back to barracks.
In the latest violence to undermine the flaky 13-day-old truce, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the four were killed at a checkpoint on the main road from Aleppo to the capital.
It said an elderly man was killed in heavy fighting in the southern city of Deraa, crucible of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad that flared after Arab uprisings elsewhere.
A woman who visited Douma on Tuesday night said the largely anti-Assad town east of the capital had been under constant shelling and was without water, power or mobile phone signal.
There was no mention of the bus shooting or bombardment in Syria’s rigidly controlled media or comment from the authorities in Damascus, which has barred most foreign journalists since the revolt started more than 13 months ago.
The International Committee of the Red Cross also revealed today that a Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteer was shot dead and three others were wounded in the town of Douma, on the outskirts of Damascus.
‘We are saddened and extremely shocked by the death of Mohammed al-Khadraa,’ Dr Abdul Rahman al-Attar, the president of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, said in a statement. ‘This is the third fatal incident involving the Red Crescent in less than eight months.’
Mr Khadraa was shot and killed on Tuesday in a vehicle clearly marked with the Red Crescent emblem, the statement said.
Syria’s state news agency said an armed terrorist group killed Khadraa when it opened fire on a Red Crescent ambulance, but did not give details on the group.
Opposition activists said that government forces have been shelling Douma with mortar bombs for a week.
WARNING: Graphic content