The Same Scene Over And Over: A Syrian Describes Houla Massacre

The Houla massacre left more than 100 Syrians dead. Some of them were women. Most of them were children.

The Syrian President Bashar Assad has denied responsibility. But the United Nations has pinned the blame mostly on his government.

Today, All Things Considered spoke to Hamza Oumar, an activist based in the city. He described the scene for Melissa Block. He said after the heavy shelling stopped, the men of the pro-government militia known as Shabiha went door to door.

We'll let you listen to the full the interview. But here is the most dramatic part of it, where Oumar describes what he found after the militia moved out:

"We entered the first house we came across. The door was already open and not torn down. We first saw a woman on the floor, blood covering her chest and left arm. We weren't sure if she was still alive. I went to check other rooms in the house, and I found four children, three tied up and shot from a very close range while the youngest was not tied up but his face was mutilated. Then I saw a woman in her 20s shot to death and a middle-aged man with an open forehead. It seemed as if he was bludgeoned with the back of a gun. In the same house, I saw a teenager and another three kids all shot and deeply stabbed in their necks.

"We went house to house to find the same scene over and over again — the parents and their kids all slaughtered. For the first hour and a half, we couldn't find any survivors, until some emerged from between the trees and backyards."

We added the audio at the top of this post. It will be available shortly.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


'Better Call Saul' And 'The Great American Dream Machine' Shine As DVD Box Sets

TV critic David Bianculli shares his enthusiasm for two newly released DVD box sets: season one of Better Call Saul and a four-DVD set of the 1970s PBS variety show, The Great American Dream Machine.

Sweet Name Of Kids' Clinic Gives Some People Heartburn

The Krispy Kreme Challenge Children's Specialty Clinic gets its name from a student-run charity race in Raleigh, N.C., that has already raised $1 million for kids. Still, some find the name unhealthy.

60 Years Later, What Can Activists Learn From The Montgomery Bus Boycott?

Decades after Rosa Parks changed history, a new generation faces the challenge of remaking the civil rights movement for the next century. What can they learn from the past to build for the future?

Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover

NASA is building a 2-pound helicopter drone that would help guide the vehicle on the Red Planet's surface. That way, the rover wouldn't need to wander as much to find its way around.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.