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Syrian TV Shows Alleged Interview With Woman Who Was Reported Dead

Syrian state television has aired an interview with a woman who claims to be a teenager who was reported to have been killed and dismembered by authorities during a crackdown on antigovernment protesters.

International rights groups and Syrian activists reported last month that 18-year-old Zaynab al-Hosni was arrested, beheaded and mutilated by security forces -- allegedly the first woman to die in custody since protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime began in March.

The reports said her family had discovered Zaynab's body in a morgue. But on October 4, a woman claiming to be Zaynab appeared on state television, saying she had run away from her family because her brothers had abused her.

The woman said she decided to speak out after hearing on television that she had been arrested and killed. Syrian authorities have banned foreign journalists and placed heavy restrictions on local coverage, making it difficult to independently verify events on the ground.

compiled from agency reports