Syrian rebels reported Saturday a massacre by Syrian government forces in the district of Deir Balbeh, on the northeastern side of the city of Homs, in which at least 220 people died.

A member of the Syrian rebels' Supreme High Command, Qasem Saadedin, told Efe that the inhabitants of the district were rounded up and forced into the petrochemical plant where they were summarily executed, burned and buried in a common grave, adding that 177 of the victims have now been identified.

Saadedin, chief of the rebels military operations in Hama province, said that the prelimary death toll for Saturday has reached 362, including forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Another group reporting on the victims in the Syrian conflict, the Local Coordination Committees, confirmed in a communique the 220 victims of the Deir Balbeh massacre.

The committees said that government troops took the district by storm and allowed the people still there to pass through the control post into the petrochemical plant, then arrested and executed them.

The massacre, which has not been confirmed independently due to restrictions imposed on the media by the Syrian regime, coincided with the end of the trip to Moscow of international mediator Lajdar Brahimi.

Brahimi told Moscow that Syria has two options: either launch a process of political transition or descend into a hell like Somalia did. EFE