DAMASCUS, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Syria's state media said Saturday that radical rebels killed as many as 123 people in a contested town in northern Aleppo province.
Most of those killed in Khan al-Asal were unarmed civilians, the state-run SANA news agency said, adding that medical examination identified six of the dead bodies.
Quoting an official source, SANA said the perpetrators would pay a steep price for their crime, adding that the Syrian army is always on standby.
On Friday, the activists' Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights placed the death toll of the carnage at 150, adding that most of the massacred were government soldiers.
It said around 51 of those killed were summarily executed by the rebels, including about 30 officers and warrant officers.
The crime is believed to take place between last Monday and Tuesday when forces of the Syrian opposition retook the strategic town, according to the Observatory.
The town, located in northern Aleppo, has been a battlefield for months in the Syrian conflict since March, when the Syrian government accused the opposition of using chemical weapons there.
The alleged victory is the first the opposition has claimed in months. They suffered a major defeat in the border town of al- Qussair in June and lost swaths of areas in central Homs province recently.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Foreign Ministry condemned the massacre, holding regional countries which support the insurgency in Syria responsible for the mass killing.
What happened in Khan al-Asal over the past few days revealed the role of some regional countries that provide military, financial and logistical support to the armed terrorist groups, the ministry said in a letter of complaint to the UN.
It charged that those countries have given the go-ahead sign to the rebels to commit their massacre, accusing some permanent members of the UN of supporting the rebels in Syria, in reference to the United States and some pro-opposition European countries.