BEIRUT (AP) - There are varying reports of exactly how many people were killed in the Syrian town of Banias yesterday, but the incident is prompting an exodus of Sunni Muslims from the Mediterranean city.
One activist group says at least 62 people, including 14 children, were killed by pro-government gunmen, and the number could rise with many people missing. Another group says the death toll exceeds 100.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says about 4,000 people are fleeing from predominantly Sunni neighborhoods of Banias amid fears pro-government gunmen "might commit a massacre."
Meanwhile, Syrian state TV says President Bashar Assad visited a Damascus campus today, his second public appearance in a week. The report says Assad inaugurated a statue dedicated to "martyrs" from Syrian universities who died in the country's two-year-old uprising and civil war.
Assad appears rarely in public. But on Wednesday, Assad visited a Damascus power station to mark May Day, according to the media.