NAJAF, Iraq — Abu Ali fled his life as a Shiite cleric and student in Homs, the besieged Syrian city at the center of an increasingly bloody uprising, but it was not the government he feared.
It was the rebels, who he said killed three of his cousins in December and dumped a body in the family garbage bin.
“I can’t be in Homs because I will get killed there,” he said from this religious city in Iraq where he has taken refuge. “Not just me, but all Shiites.
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