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Massacre of Civilians in Houla, Syria

From AP via Huffington Post:

Syria Massacre Victims In Houla Were Mostly Executed, Says UN

Eyewitness accounts from the Syrian massacre emerged Tuesday, describing shadowy gunmen slaughtering whole families in their homes and targeting the most vulnerable in poor farming villages. Western nations expelled Syrian diplomats in a coordinated move against President Bashar Assad's regime over the killing of more than 100 people.

Massacre of Civilians in Houla, Syria According to witnesses, the massacre, which began late Friday in an area about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the city of Homs, had dangerous sectarian overtones.

The victims lived in the Houla area's Sunni Muslim villages. But the shabiha forces allegedly behind many of the killings came from an arc of nearby villages populated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Most shabiha fighters belong to the Alawite sect, to which the Assad family and the ruling elite also belong. This ensures the gunmen's loyalty to the regime, built on fears they will be persecuted if the Sunni majority gains the upper hand.

The GCP event was set for 6pm local time for 6 hours (15:00-21:00 UTC) based on the news report that the massacre began late Friday. The result is Chisquare 21433.693 on 21600 df for p = 0.788 and Z = -0.799.

Massacre of Civilians
in Houla, Syria

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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