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Syria: 25 killed in Aleppo (VIDEO)

At least 25 men were killed in Aleppo province, with the government claiming they were massacred by terrorists and the opposition claiming they were pro-Assad shabiha fighters.

syria 25 killed aleppo rebels claim shabiha june 22 2012Enlarge
Syrian fighters hold their weapons at a checkpoint controlled by the Free Syrian Army. The Syrian government claimed that 25 citizens were massacred by "terrorists" in Aleppo province on June 22, 2012, while pro-opposition groups claimed that rebels killed pro-Assad fighters known as shabiha in clashes. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

At least 25 people have been killed in Aleppo province in Syria, according to a video that emerged on Friday, the Associated Press reported.

The government and state media claimed that they were the victims of a "massacre" by rebels, with the official SANA state news agency stating that the victims were abducted from Darat Izza earlier on Friday.

Activists gave a different account, saying that 26 government supporters were shot dead by rebels, according to the BBC.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group sent a video link to media organizations which showed men covered in blood and piled on top of each other on the side of the road, said Reuters.

The narrator in the video claimed that they were members of the shabiha, pro-regime gunmen. The video could not be independently verified.

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Shabiha militiamen come from the same Alawite sect as President Bashar al-Assad, and are accused of several atrocities in the 15-month uprising in Syria, according to Reuters.

The AP said it remained unclear whether the men were killed execution-style or died in combat.

The Observatory also claimed that four senior army officers had defected from the Syrian government, according to Al Jazeera. A video provided by the group allegedly shows two brigadier generals and two colonels declaring that they have joined the opposition, a day after a Syrian fighter pilot flew into Jordan asking for asylum.

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Joint United Nations and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said that it was "time for countries of influence to raise the level of pressure" on Syria, according to the BBC.

WARNING: The content of the video, provided to Al Jazeera by the Observatory, is graphic. It also could not be independently verified.:

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/120622/syria-25-killed-in-aleppo