- uploaded: Feb 12, 2014
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Foreign-backed militants in Syria have taken control of an Alawite village in the province of Hama, massacring a number of people there. On Sunday, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of spies working for the foreign-backed opposition, said the militants killed 25 pro-government fighters in the village of Maan. However, Syrian officials said the victims were mainly women and children and accused the extremists of committing a massacre in the village. "This massacre isn't the first," Social Affairs Minister Kinda al-Shamat said, adding that similar attacks had occurred during the nearly three-year unrest. She criticized the silence of international organizations over the killings. "We feel the insistence of the international community... to divert attention to areas which are not suffering to the same extent as these regions," Shamat added. "Unfortunately we don't hear condemnation from any international organization of these massacres taking place in these villages," she said. A British defense study showed that about 100,000 militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people. The extracts of the study by defense consultancy IHS Jane's were published on September 16, 2013. IHS Jane's estimates that some 10,000 militants are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and the rest fight for different militant groups. The analysis also said that a large number of extremists from foreign countries are active in Syria. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.